The awarding of petroleum supply contracts in Zambia has over years attracted a lot of controversies. The supply is divided into two components: crude and finsihed (white) products. And these components are handled through different contracts. At the Zambian Watchdog we have been vigilant on this matter and written several articles.
Dalbit Petroleum International, inititially from Kenya and headquartered in Mauritius has been one of the suppliers of the finished products to Zambia in the past six years. Over the years the Zambian Watchdog has carried several stories on the origins and dealings of the company, with accusations that it has been favored in this process. After several protests from the company and for the interest of the Zambian people, we sought to investigate the truth on the award of fuel contracts going back six years. We were guided by the need to confirm if due process was followed and whether the Zambian people got value for money.
In 2009 Dalbit secured their first contract under the then MMD Government. This was in response to an international tender No. TB/ORD/058/08 floated in the local media in September 2008. Dalbit Petroleum Ltd Purchased the Bid document for supply of 15,000M3 AGO. The bids were opened on 17th October 2008, Dalbit offered a price of USD/MT 1267.62 against the closest bidder of USD/MT 1281.83.
Although the bid was for 15,000M3 the supply was reduced to 7,000M3. Dalbit managed to supply with flawless logistics that overrun the supply of the competitor leading to award of Emergency Tender before refinery shutdown in October 2009.
Our investigations further revealed that the company emerged as the most responsive bidder both in both technical and financial aspects under the subsequent tender for 2011/2012. However, the contract was awarded to their competitor who were an overall 5th in the bid opening.
Subsequent tender for 2014/2015 was won and awarded to Dalbit during President Michael Sata’s regime. Our review of the tender documents indicate this was on the basis of offering the best bid in terms of financial and technical aspects.
Reviewing the facts made available to us, there is no evidence that Dalbit Petroleum has been unduly favoured in the awarding of these contracts.
We have also reviewed available documents in relation to invoicing of the delivered products and established that the invoices submitted by Dalbit Petroleum were based on the contract and there has been no case of overcharging as has been reported before.