BCC tender system suspicion

BULAWAYO Councillors here have expressed suspicions over the manner in which the Municipal Procurement Board allocated tenders for the repair and maintenance of various council buildings.

During a full council meeting in the council chambers recently, councillors questioned the criterion employed by the board in awarding the tenders worth US$230 000. According to the latest council minutes, the Town Clerk, Middleton Nyoni, reported that major council buildings had not been maintained for periods exceeding 30 years. He said as a result most of the buildings, including the City Hall, were leaking, had peeling paint and electrical problems.

The Town Clerk said the buildings needed urgent maintenance work. The council therefore invited tenders for the repair of the buildings and only two companies responded. “Since only two companies submitted their quotations, for good workmanship it was prudent to share the jobs between the two companies to accord council opportunity to evaluate type of service provided,” read part of the minutes.

The buildings to be serviced are the Large City Hall, Mzilikazi library, Home industry in Mzilikazi, Council Clinics, Tower Block, McDonald Hall and Mpopoma housing office. At the meeting, some of the councillors felt that the tender should have

been awarded to one deserving company.”Firstly, why award the tender to two different companies instead of the best deserving candidate alone, it is obvious there are some underlying issues in this process,” said Israel Mabaleka, Councillor for ward 15.

The councillors accused the Municipal Procurement Board of awarding the tender out of favour rather than merit. “The board should address this issue with professionalism and avoid awarding the tender as per favour as this involves large amounts of money. There is an obvious element of corruption in the whole process,” said Prince Dube.

Members of the board supported their decision to award the tenders to two companies arguing that they had been thorough in their search for suitable companies and there was no need to delay the process any further.

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