The Clerk of Parliament of Zimbabwe, Mr Kennedy Chokuda, has said he cancelled the controversial laptop tender in August.
He said this was regardless of compliance with all procurement requirements in choosing the two companies that eventually won tender to supply laptops and desktops.
In a statement seen by Pindula News, Chokuda said the two companies, Blinart Investments P/L ANCE and Mid-End Computers and Hardware (P/L) had the lowest prices compared to their competitors. Reads his statement issued on 17 September 2022:
However, while all the procurement processes had been adhered to and cognizant of the need to exercise prudence and probity in all procurement processes, our due diligence processes indicated that the prices quoted were highly inflated. It is at this particular point that on Friday 9th August 2022. I, as the Accounting Officer, directed the Parliament’s Director Procurement Unit, in the presence of the Director Audit, to initiate cancellation of the tender and to proceed with retendering as the quoted prices were not justified. It is in this regard, that no contract has been signed with any of the two suppliers, and no payment processes have been activated in respect of the two suppliers.
In a different letter dated 29 August 2022, Chokuda notified other companies that had applied for tender that Blinart Investments and Mid-End Computers and Hardware had won the tenders. Reads the letter seen by Pindula News:
RE: NOTIFICATION OF AWARD — SUPPLY AND DELIVERY OF 173 LAPTOPS AND 79 ALL-IN-ONE DESKTOPS: TENDER NUMBER: POZ/DOM/013/2022
I take this chance to appreciate your efforts for the Supply and Delivery of 173 Laptops and 79 All m One Desktops. The Evaluation Committee was impressed by your documentation and how you presented your bid…
The award for the Supply and Delivery of 173 Laptops and 79 All in One Desktops was awarded to the following bidders whose bid was more responsive to the proposal requirements.
He then stated that Blinart Investments had won the tenders to supply laptops at USD9 264.48 each while Mid-End Computers and Hardware had won the tender to supply desktops at USD3 076.61 each.
His statement issued on Saturday 17 September came after the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development had directed the cancellation of the tender and blacklisting of the concerned suppliers from any future Government procurement process.
Treasury cited exorbitantly inflated prices. Finance Secretary George Guvamatanga said:
It has come to Treasury’s attention that Parliament of Zimbabwe had awarded a tender for the supply and delivery of laptops and desktops to the following companies as follows:
BIDDER DESCRIPTION TOTAL PRICE (USD) Blinart Investments P/L ANCE 173 Laptops 1 602 755.77 Mid-End Computers and Hardware (P/L) 79 Desktops 243 052.36
Treasury notes with concern that these suppliers are charging USD9 264.48 and USD3 076.61 for a laptop and desktop, respectively. These USD dollar prices have been exorbitantly inflated way beyond those that are prevailing in the market and hence, are not acceptable.
It is not clear why Treasury would cancel a tender that was cancelled in August.