BCC mulls firing tender board

In a development likely to divide the Bulawayo City Council and throw its tender system into disarray, some councillors are pushing for the disbanding of the Municipal Procurement board.

The board is accused of causing irregularities in the tender process. The Mayor, Clr Thaba Moyo, called for patience as the system tried to deal with difficulties and complications.

“The fact that a lot of questions are being asked about this tendering system worries us, there is a need for us to look into it and identify the root cause,” he said.

“The tender system has never been an easy task, even the government itself faces problems when dealing with tenders,” he said.

Councillors had requested that it be turned into a council in-committee meeting that would have seen council officials being mandated to respond to questions from the councillors, but the move was immediately blocked by the mayor.

The procurement board is made up of James Sithole (chairman), Prince Dube, Ngwalo Nyathi, Paul Malaba, Elmon Mpofu, Clyton Zana and Martin Moyo. According to council sources the motion to have the board ‘fired’ is being led by the councillor for ward 27, Siboniso Khumalo who initially made his motives felt during the meeting.

“To be frank there is something wrong within the procurement board, every month we come in here and there is some irregularity within the tendering process, irregularities that are so obvious even to a layman. If it means us firing this board then let’s do that before things become worse,” said Khumalo.

Israel Mabaleka of ward 15 said: “If we continue deferring these issues for our own internal discussions it would seem like a cover up. The public need answers and we should be prepared to give them answers right here during the open council meeting.” However, other councillors who spoke on condition of anonymity said the issue of the tendering system was being turned into a power struggle between various personalities within the council.

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