Witness – Dora Siliya acted corruptly

FORMER minister of Communications and Transport Dora Siliya erred when she dealt directly with directors and not the permanent secretary over a contract for the supply and installation of radar equipment, a witness has testified.
Mukuka Zimba, a former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Communications and Transport, insisted yesterday that Siliya abrogated the Cabinet handbook when she bypassed the permanent secretary and handled the contract for the repair and installation of the radar systems at Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula international airports.
This is a case in which Siliya is charged with two counts of abuse of authority of office involving the cancellation of a duly-awarded tender between February 20, 2008 and April 2009.
The tender was for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of Zambia air traffic management surveillance radar system to Thales Air Systems, whose implementation was frustrated and an act prejudicial to the rights or interests of Government.
Mrs Zimba said in cross-examination that Ms Siliya controlled directors and assistant directors at the ministry instead of working with the permanent secretary as stated by the Cabinet handbook.
“The Ministry of Transport has a lot of departments and if instructions are given to individual directors without recourse from the permanent secretary, this can cause chaos, as it was with our ministry when Honourable Siliya was minister,” she said.
Mrs Zimba also said that the Zambia Public Procurement Authority did not cancel the tender for supply and installation of the radars although it is the only institution legally mandated to annul bids.
Ms Siliya, in breach of laid down procedure, accepted a purportedly free offer from Selex Systemi Integrati for the repair of a radar head at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport as a result of which Government actually paid K1,943,932,360, an act prejudicial to the rights or interests of the government.
Trial continues on May 4.

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