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16 years later, govt fails to finish purchase of US$566k Hydrogen Generator

The Zanu-PF government is failing to finish the procurement of a US$566 667 Hydrogen Generator, a transaction it entered in 2006 with a French company, Meteo France International.

This was revealed by Auditor-General Mildred Chiri in her latest report. She noted that the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development paid US$100 000 in 2006 for the purchase of the Hydrogen Generator but has since defaulted paying the remainder, 16 years later.

Only US$466 667 is left for the machine to be delivered.

Meteo France International offers a full range of met information systems (telecom, data management, forecasting, climatology, public weather service, early warning).

Chiri fears that the US$100 000 which the company was paid would vanish if the matter is not resolved by both the Treasury and Transport Ministry.

“The Fund was established to facilitate the provision of weather related services including weather forecasting.

“For the Meteorological Department to provide accurate weather forecasts it requires a hydrogen generator which is key in the production of hydrogen useful in weather forecasting,” the report said.

“In 2006, the Fund made a part payment of US$100 000 (€72 241) which is 15% of the purchase price to Meteo France International. However, as at the time of concluding my audit in February 2020, the procurement of the generator was not yet finalised.”

Chiri said there was a high risk that the procurement of the generator may not be finalised resulting in service delivery being negatively affected.

“The contract with Meteo France International may no longer be valid because of the period of time which has lapsed implying a financial loss of the amount paid,” Chiri said.

After engaging the line ministry over the issue, the management said the issue had been deliberated on with the Ministry of Finance for the past twelve years but “they have not released the necessary foreign currency to clear the balance.”

The Auditor-General concluded that; “the issue has taken too long to be resolved and management has not been clear on yet whether the purchase contract is still valid.” Nehanda Radio