By Mashudu Netsianda
Midlands State University (MSU) has approached the High Court seeking a default judgment against its former bursar and her husband for conniving to flout tender processes by awarding a deal for the supply of stationery and chickens at uncompetitive prices to a private firm in which they had interests.
Mrs Mamelo Moyo and her husband, Mr Melusi Moyo, who is also the university’s former acting director of works, prejudiced the university of more than $50 000 in underhand dealings.
The lawsuit follows a criminal case in which the couple was in 2016 convicted by a Gweru Regional Magistrate Mr Morgan Nemadire on charges of failing to declare to their employer that they had an interest in a company that supplied stationery and food to the institution.
MSU, through its lawyers, Danziger and Partners, on Thursday filed a chamber application for default judgement at the Bulawayo High Court citing the couple and the contracted firm, Netabelt Investments (Pvt) Limited, as respondents.
The application follows the respondents’ failure to enter an appearance to defend summons filed last year within a stipulated period in terms of the High Court Rules.
In papers before the court, MSU is seeking an order granting a judgment in its favour against the respondents in the sum of $50 232,40 being the financial prejudice the university suffered as a result of the respondents’ corrupt practices from September 2014 to September 2015.
The university also wants to be paid interest at the rate of five percent per annum from October 2015 to the date of payment in full.
MSU is accusing Mamelo and Melusi of ‘corruptly, recklessly, negligently or wrongfully and unlawful’ allowing Netabelt Investments to sell chickens at an uncompetitive price on July 9, 2015 without abiding by the competitive bidding procedures.
“The university is also accusing the couple of allowing a Botswana registered company, Black Brain Investments, to supply stationery at uncompetitive prices between June and August 2016. MSU said between 2014 and 2015, Mamelo and Melusi connived with Netabelt Investment to engage in a deal which saw the company supplying the university with stationery at uncompetitive prices. The first respondent (Mamelo) manipulated the tender and competitive bidding processes for the benefit of the third respondent (Netabelt Investment) by not declaring her interests in the company of which her husband, who is the second defendant, and her son-in-law, were directors at all material times,” said MSU lawyers.
The former bursar submitted fictitious tender bids from non-existent companies. She allegedly sourced tender bids from small players.The Chronicle