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BCC parking tender saga continues

by Patrick Guramatunhu
22 Sep 2019 at 08:19hrs | Views
A TENDER for the installation of parking management system in Bulawayo which has taken more than eight years to implement has stalled again after the city's councillors failed to agree on how best to implement the project.

The councillors had to defer the matter to next month for further deliberation after they clashed with management, which has insisted that the system has to be re-advertised owing to a number of irregularities they identified in the awarding of the multi-million dollar project.

Councillors are instead pushing management to implement a council resolution where the local authority will embark on a joint venture with the two Harare-based companies - Duscretion Logistics Private Limited and Lauvax Trading Private Limited trading as ProPark in the provision of a parking management system in the city.

However, during a council-in-committee meeting councillors failed to force management to implement the resolution leading to them at one point ordering the mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni to pen a motion forcing council management to implement the resolution.

In his submissions, Clr Mguni however, expressed reluctance in siding with the councillors revealing that there were a number of issues that needed to be looked at before he endorsed the resolution.

He said the danger in rushing to implement the resolution would result in the local authority facing litigation from companies that had been excluded.

"The perusal of the relevant files also reveals that the two firms that council has resolved to negotiate with were not the only ones that expressed interest in the project. There are three that participated in the 2010 tender as well as the three that did unsolicited bids in 2018. I have been advised by the Procurement Management Unit, which advice I cannot safely reject, that leaving out all these companies may lead to further litigation against council.

"Having been favoured with all these facts and advice concerning this matter, it is recommended that council reviews and rescinds the resolution of 3 July 2019 and resolve to de-brief all the applicants for the tender who expressed interest in 2010 and 2018, consistent with the State Procurement Board resolution of 24 October 2017, and re-advertise to ensure compliance with the procurement values of transparency, fairness, cost effectiveness and competitiveness," said Clr Mguni.

The mayor further warned councillors that ignoring provisions of the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe could not be defended at law. Ironically, Clr Mguni had written to the town clerk, Mr Christopher Dube on 9 August imploring him to implement the said resolution on the joint venture with the two companies.

In rejecting the mayor's instructions, Mr Dube noted that the item was a case of misprocurement and illegal.

"Your worship, you will recall that council resolved to award the above item against management advice. The above resolutions are illegal and I am therefore forced to proceed in terms of Section 16 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Asset Act. This letter is therefore, a letter of objection to you your worship because the item is a case of misprocurement and is illegal," wrote Mr Dube.

Section 16 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Asset Act states that; "If an accounting officer is directed by the Minister or Deputy Minister or any other person with authority over the accounting officer . . . to do or omit to do anything in respect of procurement which the accounting officer believes he or she is not authorised to do in terms of this Act he or she shall not comply with the directive but shall forthwith submit in writing to the Minister or other person in writing, as the case may be his or her objection and the reasons for the objections".

Source - Sunday News