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ZETDC boss granted bail over tender

By Nyore Madzianike

ZESA Holdings’ distribution arm, ZETDC’s managing director Lovemore Chinaka, was yesterday granted $30 000 bail on allegations of violating tender procedures involving US$1 405 920.

File picture of residents demonstrating against power utility ZESA
File picture of residents demonstrating against power utility ZESA

He was also ordered by Harare regional magistrate Mrs Esthere Chivasa to report at the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) offices in Harare once a fortnight.

Mrs Chivasa first asked why Chinaka wanted to report at the ZACC offices in Harare, instead of Bulawayo where he stays, as part of his bail conditions.

Chinaka’s lawyer Mr Oliver Marwa explained: “He stays in Bulawayo, but he is working at the head office here in Harare and staying at Monomotapa Hotel. It will be easy for him to report at Zacc offices here in Harare.”

Circumstances leading to Chinaka’s arrest are that on January 18, 2019, ZETDC flighted a tender for the supply and delivery of cable fault and location kits valued at US$1 824 486.

The supply and delivery of the equipment was stalled by a Letter of Credit that was yet to be processed by the procurement entity for disbursement of a loan to ZETDC by Afreximbank.

On December 8, 2019, ZETDC advertised a tender for non-consulting services in the form of underground cable fault location and pressure testing services.

The tender was responded to by four companies and Redcliffe Electrical Engineering (Pvt) Ltd was the only company that went for the bid. It is said on February 20, 2020, former ZETDC managing director Raphael Katsande, issued a contract to BT Engineering and Projects Company for the supply and delivery of cable fault location test kits worth US$1 824 846.

The contract was finalised on February 28 last year, according to the State.

The court heard that on July 21 last year, ZETDC compiled draft Letters of Credit for application of allocation of foreign currency from Treasury, which was to be paid to Lead HV (Pvt) Limited and Verotest Holdings through instructions from BT Engineering and Projects Company.

The draft letters were not processed, which led to BT Engineering and Projects Company failing to supply the cable fault and location test kits to ZETDC.

On September 14 last year, Chinaka allegedly awarded an especially sensitive or valuable contract to Redcliffe Electrical Engineering valued at US$1 405 920 for the provision of non-consulting services in the form of underground cable faults location and pressure testing kits without submitting record of procurement for review by the Special Procurement Oversight Committee.

His actions were said to be in violation of some sections of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act.

It is said that in November last year, BT Engineering and Projects Company director, Mr Tonderai Chimangah, wrote a letter to Chinaka complaining that he was not happy by the way his contract was being ignored in favour of Redcliffe Electrical Engineering.

Mr Chimangah allegedly also told Chinaka that he would raise the issue with the State security department for investigations.

On December 15 last year, Chinaka in trying to cover up for non-consulting services of US$1 405 920 which he had awarded to Redcliffe Electrical Engineering, signed an addendum to the contract for provision of underground cable fault location and pressure testing kits.

Chinaka then allegedly itemised the charges to US$750 for fault location and US$500 for call out cost when Redcliffe Electrical Engineering technicians attended a fault and failed to address it. Chinaka is said to have exceeded the required threshold of the contract of US$100 000 when he awarded it for US$1 405 920.

He is expected back in court on March 24.

Mrs Tracy Mundanga and Mrs Kudzai Chigwedere appeared for the State. The Herald

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