Sunday 17 December 2023


TSHOLOTSHO Rural District Council chief executive officer Nkululeko Sibanda and executive finance officer Brighton Malandule have been arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) for allegedly abusing public funds in a borehole drilling contract.

The two officials were arrested last Thursday and appeared before Tsholotsho magistrate Mr Thomas Gurejena on Saturday.

They were each remanded out of custody to January 5 on $1,2 million bail.

The two were further ordered to report at ZRP Tsholotsho once on the last Friday of the fortnight, surrender their passports and not to interfere with investigations, evidence and witnesses.

The two were also ordered to reside at their given addresses.

According to court papers, Mr Sibanda and Mr Malandule, who are both responsible for procuring goods and services for the council and its arms, awarded a borehole drilling contract to Makhado Marketing without following the proper procedures and approval of the council.

Sibanda was the one who             single-handedly gave Makhado Marketing the contract, the court heard.

Sometime around October 2019, read the court papers, Tsholotsho RDC through Sibanda as the accounting officer and without obtaining an exemption from the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe to engage in direct procurement, hand-picked Makhado Marketing for surveying, sighting and drilling a hundred-metre deep borehole and fitting services.

Subsequently, on October 15, 2019, Tsholotsho RDC entered into a contract with Makhado Marketing for surveying, siting, drilling a 100-metre borehole and installation of cylinder complete with foot valves and bush pumps valued at $164 260.

Clauses 19.1 to 24.2 of the contract outlined that the commencement of the services was supposed to be on the 17th of October 2019 and be completed by the 27th of November 2019.

The payment terms were agreed as 30 percent to be paid upon signing of the contract which is 15 October 2019, another 30 percent upon completion of drilling, and the balance of 40 percent upon complete installation and approvals by the Council Technical Services department and the District Development Fund department.

Investigations that followed established that soon after the signing of the contract, Makhado Marketing just drilled about 20 metres deep and informed the Council that their drilling machine had broken down.

It was further established that contrary to the terms agreed in the said contract, Sibanda, without lawful explanation, authorised the processing of payments of the full cost of the borehole drilling and installation well before the contractor completed the drilling of the borehole as follows: $49  278,00 being the first 30 percent payment was processed on October 18.

Prosecutor, Ms Sheila Mpofu said Sibanda as the accounting officer of Tsholotsho RDC, who had the duty to procure goods and services for Tsholotsho RDC in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposable of Public Assets Act Chapter 22:23, acted contrary and inconsistent with his duties by hand-picking Makhado Marketing without following proper tender procedures.

Malandule, who had the duty to monitor the use of resources in pursuit of defined objectives of the Council, to ensure all expenditure is as per budget and exercising due diligence before effecting payments to avoid financial losses to the Council allegedly acted contrary and inconsistent with his duties as the Treasurer of Tsholotsho RDC by effecting payments to Makhado Marketing without exercising due diligence.

“By so doing, the accused persons showed favour to Makhado Marketing by hand-picking it without going to tender or using the request for quotation method of procurement and paying full cost price of borehole surveying, siting, drilling and installation of cylinder complete with foot valves and bush pumps well knowing that Makhado Marketing had not yet performed its contractual obligations thereby putting Tsholotsho RDC on high risk of unnecessary sunk costs,” reads the state papers. Chronicle


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