Govt to lose another $4m in fire tender controversy

Govt to lose another $4m in fire tender controversy

The government of Zambia is this week, even today, expected to pay close to $4 million to Albion Export Services, one of the companies that lost the bid to supply fire tenders to government.

Albion lost the tender to Grandview but went to a tribunal in the United Kingdom claiming that it was the rightful winner of the tender so should be compensated. As we have always said , Attorney General Likando Kalaluka is raw and can’t stand proper legal challenges so all he does is enter consent judgment.

The arbitrator in London found that Albion indeed suffered some loss during the bidding process as they were at first granted the tender but it was revoked due to irregularities and a fresh tender was issued. The arbitrator ordered the Zambian government to refund the expenses incurred by Albion Services during the period when it thought it was granted the tender. This was very little money.

But because the arbitration was in London, for it to be enforceable in Zambia and for the Zambian government to pay, the London arbitration order needed to be registered in Zambia.

And that is how more corruption riding on the back of incompetence in the Attorney general’s office kicked in.

Instead of defending this robbery, Attorney General Kalaluka decided to enter yet another consent judgment. What this means is that, the Zambia government will pay Albion the cost of applying for the tender, legal costs for arbitration expenses in UK and legal fees in Zambia.

Worse still , Kalaluka and his team in the Attorney general’s chambers will receive kickbacks from Albion for facilitating the scam.

That is how the bill has gone to $4 million.

Moreover, the Watchdog understands that other bidders who were not successful will also demand to be compensated once Albion is paid.

The decision by Attorney General Likando Kalaluka to enter in to a consent judgment is actually an admittance that the acquisition of fire tenders was fraught with corruption.

Just this week, the auditor general revealed that the Ministry of Justice lost K9m in court cases through negligence and corruption.

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