via CMED quizzed over $2,7 million tender March 4, 2014 by Everson Mushava NewsDay
THE Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED) was yesterday quizzed by Parliament over the murkiness of a $2,7 million tender awarded to a local company last year for the supply of three million litres of fuel that has not been delivered.
This was after CMED managing director Davison Mhaka said the organisation was facing viability challenges particularly in the supply of fuel after First Oil failed to supply three million litres paid for by the organisation.
Mhaka said the problems at CMED were being compounded by the fact that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) had not paid for $4,5 million for the hiring of vehicles at last year’s March constitutional referendum, while government also owed the company over $1 million for car rental, fuel and other services.
Mhaka was appearing before the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development chaired by Epworth MP Amos Midzi to detail operations of its special business unit’s procurement and distribution of equipment.
“The company’s fuel department is facing problems of fuel availability in its service stations around the country,” Mhaka said. “On March 5 in 2013, we procured three million litres of fuel from First Oil. The company failed to supply. We have reported the matter to the police and up to today, the company has been promising to deliver the fuel. Another challenge is non-payment for fuel and services by government. We ended up recalling the coupons we gave to our clients. Right now, government owes us $577 000 for fuel which ministries are struggling to liquidate.”
Mhaka said the transport hire department was suffering from non-payment by government and Zec for services rendered.
“Government still owes us $745 000 for services provided in 2013. Zec still owes us $4,5 million for vehicle hired during last year’s referendum. The worrying thing is that, we subcontracted people. We still owe members of the public money for the vehicles that we hired for Zec,” Mhaka said.
CMED still owed public over $1 million for car hire.
But parliamentarians blasted CMED, accusing it of being complicit in the $2,7 million fuel deal. They quizzed Mhaka on whether proper procurement procedures were followed and attacked CMED for lacking proper corporate governance practices by paying first before receiving the fuel.
Warren Park MP Elias Mudzuri accused CMED of incompetence by failing to secure its money in the fuel deal, while Glen Norah MP Webster Maondera said he suspected CMED was complicit in the fraud.
“How did you secure your money? You trusted people, that is why we are in a mess as a country and corruption is smelling everywhere,” Mudzuri quizzed.
Mhaka said CMED followed proper procurement channels and was made to believe they would get the fuel after checking with government departments that assured him First Oil had the stocks.
Midzi and Chegutu West MP Dextor Nduna accused the CMED management of arrogance.