The Herald – Breaking news

The Herald – Breaking news

The Herald – Breaking news

Nyore Madzianike-Senior Courtroom Reporter 

The blocked endeavor by Parliament previous 12 months to buy significant batches of grossly overpriced laptop and desktop computer systems has now found Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda and Parliament’s director procurement Stanely Bhebhe formally billed with two counts of felony abuse of duty as public officers.

The pair had been yesterday unveiled on bail of $100 000 each individual when they appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court with the abuse of duty tied to alleged violations of procurement laws when they wanted to acquire 173 laptops and 79 desktops on behalf of the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

The two have been not questioned to plead to the two prices when they appeared just before Harare regional magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro, who remanded them to May 31. The 1st charge discounts with the 79 desktops and unlawful tries to change the rates available by the bidder, and the 2nd with the 173 laptops, the unlawful specification of brand name, and the value reduction negotiations with the other bidder. 

Once the Treasury experienced blocked payment on the grounds that the two effective tenderers experienced not provided worth for revenue, the Parliamentary administration should have just cancelled the tender awards and flighted a new tender, this time with all expected declarations and no specification of brand name. 

The Point out led by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti alleges that on June 17 very last calendar year, the Parliament of Zimbabwe flighted an advert inviting fascinated bidders for the provide and shipping of the 173 laptops and 79 desktops for Tender POZ/DOM/013/2022, which shut on July 15.

Initially 92 providers confirmed interest, but were afterwards lowered to 30 after some were being disqualified for a selection of causes.

On August 19 Mid-Conclude Computers was notified by the Parliament of Zimbabwe that it had been awarded the agreement for the source and supply 79 desktops at US$3 076 just about every with a whole benefit of US$243 052,59 payable at interbank level on the date of payment. 

The Treasury, as element of its then lately released stringent coverage of looking for benefit for revenue, refused to launch the payment citing exorbitant rates, which experienced also brought on an outcry from legislators and users of the community. Whilst the rates have been quoted in US dollars, those US dollar prices have been regarded as very well earlier mentioned the US dollar price ranges for very similar imported gear.

On September 16 Bhebhe, as the director procurement, wrote a letter on the guidelines of Chokuda to Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) asking for authority to negotiate value reductions.

 Bhebhe instructed Rudo Doka, the director of external relations, to append her signature on behalf of Chokuda indicating that they had been operating on the recommendations from Chokuda, who was in Bulawayo for a workshop. 

PRAZ in its response suggested the Parliamentary administration that negotiating price reduction was opposite to Portion 52 of the Procurement Act which prohibits negotiations amongst procuring entities and bidders.

It is alleged that when the Chokuda and Bhebhe questioned for authority from PRAZ for rate reduction on September 16, they experienced presently negotiated for price reduction with Noah Sakudye the Director of Mid-Conclude Computer systems on September 7.  The court read that an settlement was achieved and price was reduced from US$243 000 to US$180 000 for the offer and shipping and delivery of the 79 desktops. According to the Point out, the conference was chaired by the chief director finance Bernard Zvamada.

Once more, it is alleged that the conventional bidding doc issued to bidders experienced no signed declaration by Chokuda who is the accounting officer to the influence that the procurement was based on neutral and truthful technical demands, violating area 20 (2) (c) of the Community Procurement and Disposal of Public Property (General) Polices in the course of action.

It is even more alleged that Chokuda and Bhebhe on site 16-17 of the conventional bidding document specified that they demanded HP manufacturer laptops on Great deal 1 in violation of Area 27(2) of the very same restrictions, which bans specification of brands. The State alleges that by negotiating price tag reduction, issuing an unsigned regular bidding document to bidders and specifying the brand name of laptops essential, the two acted contrary and inconsistent with their responsibilities as community officers. Part 52 delivers actions which really should have been taken by the accounting officer, in this case in which the rate of the lowest evaluated responsive bidder exceeded the budget.

Chokuda ought to have just cancelled the deal and then proceeded with a re-tender but he went on to negotiate cost reduction demonstrating favour to successful bidders and disfavour to other bidders, it is alleged.

The 2nd count specials with the 173 laptops. Blinart Investments Pvt Ltd was notified by the Parliament of Zimbabwe that it had been awarded a deal for the source and supply of 173 laptops at USD$9 264.49 every with a complete benefit of US$1 602 755,77 payable at interbank fee. Again the Treasury refused to launch the payment sighting substantial costs, which induced an outcry from legislators and members of the community.

Once again on September 16, the similar date he asked for authority to renegotiate the desktop costs, Bhebhe allegedly originated a letter on the guidelines of Chokuda to PRAZ asking for authority to negotiate cost reduction. He gained the exact same reply that this was unlawful.

But once more they experienced presently negotiated for a value reduction from the chosen provider, this time with Elizabeth Muchenje the Director of Blinart Investments Pvt Ltd on September 6, 2022. An settlement was reached on the similar day and the device price tag was minimized from US$9 264.49 to US$7 985.69, according to the State.

That meeting was allegedly also chaired by main director finance Zvamada on the instruction of Chokuda.

Full tale on : www.herald.co.zw

The similar issues with the standard bidding doc missing the ordinary declaration of neutrality and the notebook brand name are portion of this second laptop computer demand.