Mufumbwe council in K500 000 contract scam

Chief officers at Mufumbwe district council in Northwestern province have awarded a K500, 000 contract to two contractors based in Kasempa without following tender procedures.

The contract involves construction of a council conference hall and completion of Mufumbwe Civic Centre Building.

The council officials claim that the contract was awarded through selective tender to two Kasempa based contractors called Chakama White and Kawasha Contractors.

But, apart from failing to follow procedures outlined in the ZAPP, the money awarded is inflated.

‘The works to be done do not tally with the K 500, 000 (capital grant) which the government allocated to the council’, one person told the Watchdog.

Information coming through from Mufumbwe indicates that the conference hall under construction is too small which is more or less like a board-room for council meetings.

On the completion of the civic centre building, the council just wants to make a few changes to the council chamber on the pretext of extending it and constructing a tiny office for the council chairman.

It is not known why a contract to undertake such simple works will be awarded through selective tender.

The Zambia Public Procurement Authority actgives situations in which selective tender can be used as follows:

: (a) there is a proclamation in force declaring a state of emergency or threatened emergency under the Constitution, (b) it is in the interest of public order, public safety or public security, (c) building works of a specialised or complex nature are involved, or equipment to be obtained is highly specialised, (d) the goods and services to be rendered by an educational or training institution, (e) services are to be rendered by an educational or training institution, (f) evidence is furnished that there are no other competing institutions or organisations in respect of the goods or services to be supplied or rendered and that the supplier is the sole franchise holder, (g) the goods or services to be supplied or rendered are to be used in, or are in the nature of research work, (h) equipment to be supplied is technical and is of a nature that requires standardised and inter-changeability of parts; or (i) there has been no acceptable tender from all formal tenders previously invited.

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