Tuesday, 2 March 2021

TENDER SCAM : EX ZINARA BOSSES GET BAIL

FOUR former top executives of the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) yesterday appeared in court on allegations of flouting procurement procedures by hiring two security companies rejected during an evaluation as sub-standard and then extending the contracts of the two.

Former chief executive officer Nancy Masiyiwa-Chamisa, former finance director Simon Taranhike, and former acting CEOs Saston Muzenda and Matheline Mujokoro appeared separately at the Harare Magistrates’ Court charged with criminal abuse of office as public officers.

Muzenda was the acting chief executive between June and November 2019 and Mujokoro between September 2013 and July 2019. Magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro granted them bail of $20 000 each.

Prosecuting, Mrs Tinashe Makiya said in 2016, Zinara flighted a tender for the provision of security services at its premises countrywide. A total of 24 companies, including Ex-Combatants Security and National Eye Security Service, responded to the tender.

An evaluation team was set up after tenders were opened and it toured all 24 companies, but the team was disbanded before the final evaluation report was signed.

However, the team had already found Ex-Combatants and National Eye Security failed to meet the requirements as they had neither firearms not dogs and their premises were not presentable, according to the State.

“After these evaluations, the Procurement Management Committee was supposed to sit and come up with a suitable bidder but no such committee sat to select a successful bidder.

“On April 3, 2017, contrary to his duties as the procurement chairperson who was supposed to ensure that procedures were followed and with intention to show favour to Ex-Combatant Security Service and National Eye Security, Taranhike single-handedly selected the two companies and wrote letters to them advising that they had won tenders to provide security services to the northern and southern regions,” said Mrs Makiya.

On May 9, 2017, Masiyiwa-Chamisa signed one-year contracts for the two security companies with a 12-months’ extension provision.

On March 1, 2018, Zinara’s administration and human resources director wrote to the two security companies advising them that their contracts were not to be renewed upon expiry but, said the State, Mujokoro, who was the acting chief executive officer, extended the contracts of the two security companies on September 7, 2018 from the date of expiry to April 30, 2019, without Zinara’s approval.

In June 2019, Modern Security and Real Star Security companies were awarded tenders to provide services in Zinara’s northern and southern regions starting from September 1, 2019 with the contracts for Ex-Combatants and National Eye Security ending on August 31, 2019.

I is alleged that Muzenda, now acting CEO, had already allowed Ex-Combatants Security to add security guards in areas that were manned by National Eye Security, when he assumed the post of acting CEO for Zinara. In a bid to cover his back, Muzenda allegedly wrote to the then Procurement Regulatory Authority on September 30, seeking an extension of services from Ex-Combatants Security.

However, the authority asked Muzenda for the contracts but he responded saying that he had already awarded the tender to the security company, thereby extending its service provision by 12 months.

He allegedly showed disfavour to Modern Security and Real Star Security companies who had won the tender. Herald

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