The tender for the intergrated public safety and security system which would see the installation of CCTV in all strategic places in Lusaka with a command centre to monitor and deploy counter measures for security and safety has hit another snag.
Ministry of Home Affairs permanent secretary Dr Chileshe Mulenga has flouted procurement procedure to shortlist only three Korean out of seven recommended companies to proceed to offer their tenders for the lucrative contract estimated to be worth around $50million (approximately five hundred million kwacha ).
One of the dubiously shortlisted companies is believed to be owned by a South Korean mafia boss and a known fugitive who swindled Zambian businesses out of millions of kwachas before fleeing back to South Korea.
The normal procurement procedure is that at shortlisting of possible contractors at least six (6) firms must be included in order to give adequate scope for comparison of prevailing market prices.
But Dr Mulenga is eliminated all the potential bidders off the shortlist leaving only three (3) of his favourites at the very preliminary stage of mere expression of interest, a point where companies are simply asked to show interest and present their profiles. The exclusion of all the other firms including four recommended by the South Korean government without any possibility of participation by any Zambian owned companies has raised eyebrows as some local companies and consortiums had previously presented the original idea to the Ministry but were ejected for suspicious reason best known to the maverick Permanent secretary Dr Chileshe Mulenga and his shady South Korean cohorts.
Dr Chileshe Mulenga’s questionable trail of administrative bedlam seems to have followed him from province to province and finally at Home Affairs. He is widely considered to be a product of gross nepotism coupled with an academic incompetence found in many ‘educated’ Zambian despite possessing stellar academic credentials. The trend of marginalising Zambians for short time personal gain seems to have become widespread amongst officials who have been appointed on appeasement basis rather than merit as their loyalties have only been to their own greed and then to the appointing authority but only on a full stomach or pocket.