The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has written to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works requesting documents signed between the Government and Belarus for the procurement of fire tenders on behalf of local authorities.
In a letter dated 23 June 2022 addressed to the Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda and Local Government ministry secretary Zvinechimwe Churu, ZLHR lawyers Paidamoyo Saurombe and Jeremiah Bamu requested to be furnished with copies of the agreement. They wrote:
… our client (Alice Kuvheya) hereby requests the following information which is in your possession, a copy of the government-to-government agreement between the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the government of the Republic of Belarus relating to the procurement of fire fenders on behalf of local authorities.
The total cost of equipment [fire tenders] to be procured from the government of the Republic of Belarus, and the quantities ordered, payments made to date for the purchase of the equipment the tenders] and outstanding balances.
Kuvheya is a human rights defender and director of Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CRT).
The lawyers also requested copies of Parliament’s approval of the agreements as required by the Constitution.
Meanwhile, the acting secretary in the Ministry, Emmanuel Ngwarati, recently defended the deal, saying the cost of each fire tender of US$464 296 was cheap compared to regional prices which are in the range of US$500 000 and above.