We had screamed boldly that appointing technical committee to evaluate oil tender was to hoodwink the public that oil procurement was being done transparently and without favour.
We alerted the public that indeed the tender had already been awarded to politically collect companies and the technical committee was window dressing the well-executed scam to sanitize politician scheme to skim the country and the very people they represent.
As everyone may already know, this is the biggest tender the government will award this year and of course our politicians were salivating waiting for the highest bidder to line up their pockets.
Insider information has informed us that a politician in the Ministry of Finance has ganged up with a banker
The banker has aligned Trafigura to be awarded crude oil tender even though they were position seven and white oils where they were position five in the just concluded tender opening exercise.
This translates to Zambian citizen loosing 265Billion Kwacha if they were awarded ignoring the best offers received.
Our source indicate they have been under intensive pressure to get ways and means of knocking out the best quoted offer as opposing forces fight for the two blue eyed boys-IPG and Trafigura for crude oil and Trafigura and Oilcom for finished products.
For those who were not privy to tender opening details IPG had the most expensive quote in comingled crude oil which if awarded to them the country stand to lose 544BKwacha on crude oil alone.
If IPG and Trafigura are awarded crude oil and finished product respectively, we stand to lose 764Billion Kwacha! This is a possible scenario since at the end of the day politicians will seat, agree- you take crude oil, I take white oil but next time we reverse!
That is why the technical committee is being chaired by politicians to represent their interest, and we call it technical committee?
We have been watching the act unfold only now players have changed! Those who were blaming President Banda are now in the middle of the biggest single scandal in the history of Zambia. President Michael Sata has always said he is allergic to corruption but that without reigning on his Ministers will translate to zero.
Having scared the technocrats stiff by branding all of them thieves now the politicians can execute their schemes without any civil servant with a voice.
The President need to wake up and know what is going on-how would a company that was the most expensive be shortlisted among the top three to negotiate?
Simple he has a strong Godfather.
Insider information indicate that they were given a list of the companies to shortlist that included Trafigura for both commingled crude oil and white oil.
IPG which had the highest bid and a question mark (the technical committee could insert any of their choice). This meant the committee could add the third to fulfil the requirement to escort Trafigura to the crown.
On the finished product the one with the highest bid-Oilcom position twelve has skipped all the other companies to be shortlisted. How would companies like Kenol/Kobil, Addax Oryx who had posted better prices be judged less capable to pick Oilcom?
Were the tender prequalification criteria being followed to the letter? We were reliably informed that some of the requirements were waived to suite the companies that the ruling class wanted but could not qualify if they were strictly followed.
Granted we have reliably been told that one company has offered 28MUSD (146Billion Kwacha) to the politician for both commingled crude oil and finished products. The Banker will assist the politicians stash the cash away without anyone detecting. It is understood they will determine the one they want to be awarded if awarding the two to the same firm creates complication. This could explain why the highest bidders have been propped up to the next stage.
Do we need say further the country has lost a golden opportunity to fight corruption by failing to let the best company get awarded and keeping off politicians from the tendering process?
This will leave citizens bitter having elected this government to fight corruption. This being their first tender they are overseeing they have sank below where Banda and his sons could get. We can only request Michael Sata to intervene and examine information he is given critically before committing to award this highly contentious tender as it will dent the image of his government forever.