Zimbabwe

Dodgy Covid-19 deal costs Harare $20m

Harare City Council

Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Reporter

Corruption woes continue to mount at the MDC-led Harare City Council amid allegations that the local authority was prejudiced about $20 million in a dodgy deal while purchasing Covid-19 Tyvek protective overalls at inflated prices without going to tender.

According to a recent internal audit report compiled by City of Harare audit manager Archibald Nyamurova, an Isuzu KB 300 was also offered as a kickback to one Abel Dzuke owner of a blacklisted company, Eqstra Hardware and Electricals, to facilitate the inflation of prices for 10 000 Covid-19 protective overalls.

“Council Officials flouted Circular 1 of 2020 by selecting Eqstra Hardware and Electricals to supply 10 000 tyvec suits valued at $51 520 000 when the company did not appear on the short list of qualified bidders published weekly by the Ministry of Health and Child care,” reads the audit report.

“Council was prejudiced $19 720 000.00 or $1,972.00 per unit because of overpricing of tyvec suits by Eqstra Hardware and Electrical.”

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According to a Procurement and Creditors Payments Audit Report dated 19 October 2017 the Audit recommended that Furbank Hardware and Electrical be black listed after the company won a bid to supply bin liners and refuse bags at exorbitant prices.

Interestingly, according to the audit report the City Treasury Department also hurriedly made the payments amounting to $ 51 520 000 on purchase order 0105212 without having a contract on the order in question.

It also recommended that council officials including acting finance director and principal accountant should face disciplinary hearing for negligence of duties and fraud.

HERALD