Monday, 2 May 2022

FIRM DUPES COUNCIL OF 545 BITUMEN DRUMS

A company by the name Podilla Ventures Private Limited has vanished with US$ 137 713 after being awarded a tender by Masvingo City Council (MCC) to supply 545 drums of bitumen.

In 2016 council purchased 545 drums of bitumen from said contractor and since then the consignment is yet to be delivered while no recoveries have been made on part of the local authority.

In Auditor General (AG) Mildred Chiri’s 2020 Report, the AG found that by the time of her audit August 2021 council was yet to recover anything from the supplier.

“The Council purchased five hundred and forty-five (545) drums of bitumen from Podilla Ventures (Private) Limited in 2016 valued at US$137 713. However, the bitumen had not been delivered and the money paid had not been recovered by the time of my audit in August 2021.

“My enquiries with management revealed that a High Court judgement was given in favor of the Council but the Master of the High Court was facing challenges to serve the supplier with a warrant of execution,” read the AG’s report.

Town Clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa said a High Court judgement was given in favour of council and a messenger of court was sent to the company with the papers of litigation only to find empty offices.

“The issue was taken to court and the case was finalised, with the judgement given in our favour. A messenger of court then went with lawsuit papers to the company but the company was no longer at the given address.

“So we have now gone to the company registrar’s offices to try and locate them and if they are registered under a new name we can be able to find them and get our compensation as they have all the records there,” said Mukaratirwa.

A Google search of the company indicates that Podilla Ventures is a Mining and Construction equipment company that specializes on pothole patching and machines, earthmoving machines, survey and geo testing equipment, bituminous products, thermoplastic and cold plastic road marking paint, line marking machines located on 33 Dan Jadson Harare, Zimbabwe.

This is not the first time Masvingo City Council has inadvertently awarded a tender to questionable contractors after Mutual Construction company which benefitted from a confirmed US$4 million from council coffers failed to deliver on the prolonged Mucheke Trunk Sewer project which is yet to be completed, way behind schedule but continuously recurs on annual budgets.

The construction company later on withdrew their services and left the site in 2014 after barely a quarter of the job was done. TellZimNews

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