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BCC in parking tender turmoil

by Vusumuzi Dube
25 Jan 2015 at 07:29hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo City Council is reportedly set to meet to come up with the way forward after suffering a humiliating defeat in court following a protracted parking meter tender battle.

The local authority lost the court battle to cancel a parking tender awarded to Megalithic Marketing Private Limited which is owned by a local businessman, Mr Charles Musema.

The tender was cancelled in 2012 with the local authority claiming that the process that saw Megalithic Marketing awarded the tender was flawed and full of irregularities.

Mr Musema, was only notified through a newspaper article published in February 2012 that both his company and another competitor had been disqualified. He also learnt through the same article that the municipality was going to re-advertise the tender.

However, in the latest twist of events, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha ruled against the local authority ordering them to award the tender to the company within 14 days of service.

He said the decision by the city council to re-tender was unacceptable.

"It is ordered that the decision by the City of Bulawayo to disqualify Megalithic Marketing Private Limited as the tenderer is hereby set aside. The council must grant the company the contract for the parking management system for the City of Bulawayo within 14 days of service," said Justice Kamocha.

Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo confirmed that councillors were yet to meet to discuss the court outcome.

"We are yet to meet to discuss that issue hence at the moment I cannot really give you an informed comment," said Clr Moyo.

Sources, however, revealed that Megalithic Marketing were not the council favoured company to operate the city's parking meter system hence the moves to frustrate the company and go with the original idea of re-tendering the process.

"Most of us believed that the company was going to lose the case so that we possibly go to re-tender but now that this has not been the case, a lot of accusations are being thrown around with some councillors even alleging that the council legal section deliberately lost the case.

"As it stands right now, discussions are around frustrating Megalithic so that they voluntarily withdraw before they start so that the whole process is begun from scratch," said the council source.

The council has been looking for a company to administer parking in the city and maintain order while generating maximum revenue.

A couple of weeks ago the acting town clerk, Mrs Sikhangele Zhou, said the local authority was awaiting the outcome of the court case before coming up with a solution to the city's parking system.

"What we are avoiding is to make the court judgment just an academic ruling that is why we will patiently wait then from there we can seek a way forward on whether we re-tender it or seek partners in coming up with a parking meter system that will see us get money that will be channeled towards the rehabilitation of our roads.

"One thing which we must not forget is that in places like Harare they are getting quite a lot from the parking meters, they are even working on upgrading their current system, which is why we also have to rectify this once and for all," said Mrs Zhou.

The shambolic bidding process has brought the city's tendering system under scrutiny, with accusations of corruption among councillors and directors flying around.

First, Easipark, the South African company that was favourite to clinch the parking deal, was disqualified on allegations of attempting to bribe members of the procurement board to swing the bid in its favour.

The company was readmitted and the tendering process re-done after consultations among stakeholders.

Easipark was disqualified again, after it failed to attend a compulsory tender briefing meeting.

Councillors then accused former deputy mayor, Amen Mpofu, of championing the Easipark cause.

Source - Sunday News

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