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Garwe in trouble over Prospect flats, accused of violating tender procedure

By Sipiwe Nyoni

Minister of Housing and Social Amenities, Daniel Garwe, has been implicated in a scandal where he allegedly awarded a construction tender to two companies without following due process, Zim Morning Post can reveal.

Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Daniel Garwe and his wife Sharon Mugabe
Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Daniel Garwe and his wife Sharon Mugabe

The scandal-ridden minister allegedly awarded Metbank and Touch Properties a contract to construct 140 blocks of flats in Prospect without following due procedure, it is alleged.

The matter has been brought to the attention of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU).

Zim Morning Post has had sight of the letter of complaint which states that Garwe violated government‘s land allocation policy.

The communique stated that Garwe, through his ministry, flighted a’ dummy’, tender invitation in the media, fully knowing he had already awarded same to the companies in question where he has interest through his partner Sharon Mugabe who has is said to have done media consultancy for one of the companies .

The dummy advert was flighted on February 26 yet he had announced the engagement of the two companies a fortnight before.

The complaint letter copied to ZACC and Sacu by concerned parties partly read: “After reading of alleged misdeeds about Minister Daniel Garwe and his wife Sharon Mugabe at NBS bank and NSSA, I1 was tempted to follow religiously about any article talking about him to determine for myself if indeed he is capable to do that as a newly appointed Minister. I was caught aback by the Domestic Tender flight that was in the Herald and other publications on the 26th of February 2021.”

It further reads “This was after I read on the article in the Herald of the 13th of February 2021 titled Govt, private sector venture to build 140 blocks of flats, where Talent Chimutambgi reported Minister Daniel Garwe as handing over stateland to Metbank and Touch Properties to construct 140 blocks of flats. This was said to be following the State’s land allocation policy, and offering mortgages.”

“I was surprised to see that on the tender flighted two weeks later on the 26th of February 2021 in the same Herald, after handing over the land to Metbank and Touch Properties, the same Prospect project was being advertised inviting bidders to submit their bids. “

The anonymous author expressed shock at how Garwe had violated PRAZ rules in the back of a land audit that dragged in ruling party bigwigs.

“The time frame for the tender is just 12days from the 26th of February to the 8th of March. Considering the huge investment involved, thorough preparations and bids should be submitted. Isn’t this a way of just elbowing other would be tenderers to allow Metbank to be the only tenderer to cover up the offer that had already been made?” reads part of the letter.

“The development partners involved, Metbank in particular! My memory was refreshed of the NSSA audit report which pointed on many outstanding housing projects that were paid millions of US$ dollars as off take agreements by NSSA to Metbank through different companies and in different locations and towns and these were never completed and it’s the same bank being offered another First time project from the Minister of National Housing.”

“ZACC, SACU please do us a favour and investigate these issues and respond to the public of the outcome of your investigations as these are involving State land and pensioners Funds. This is also affecting Investors’ Confidence and His Excellency’s credibility as he is determined to end corruption regardless of position yet daily new corrupt activities are being done in the eyes of the public and nothing seems to be done against the perpetrators! How far are we with the NBS NSSA issues reported by NBS junior employees? This could boost the hope in the public for fairness and justice in the anti-corruption units serving our country,” read the letter.

Garwe is not new to controversy. In February this year, his wife Sharon Mugabe was embroiled in a corruption scandal wherein she was alleged to have demanded an urgent loan of Z$1,4 million from the NBS without being a client of the bank.

Recordings of the bank’s employees are in possession of investigating authorities.

Efforts to get in touch with Garwe were fruitless as his mobile phone was unreachable at the time of writing. Zim Morning Post