via Court suspends ZETDC tender | The Herald December 2, 2015
Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
The Supreme Court has suspended the State Procurement Board from continuing with the tendering process for the awarding of a contract to a company that had failed to comply with technical requirements of a tender. SPB awarded a tender for site survey, design, engineering manufacturing, supply, delivery, training, installation and commissioning of a wide monitoring protection and control system complete with applications software at specific locations, to a company called Pito Investments (Private) Ltd.
The company was allegedly the lowest bidder to specifications at the sum of $787 609.24. BT Critical Power (Private) Ltd, one of the companies which lost the bid, contested the SPB decision and lost in the Administrative Court.
It appealed to the Supreme Court, but the SPB continued with the tendering process. This prompted BT Critical Power to launch an urgent chamber application at the Supreme Court seeking to suspend the process until the appeal is finalised.
Justice Susan Mavangira granted the application for a provisional order against SPB after she found merit in BT Critical application. Through its lawyer, Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, BT Critical argued that the lower court upheld a decision that was unlawful because Pito Investments’ bid was not technically compliant and Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) had deliberately misrepresented to SPB that it was.
After losing the tender, BT Critical, sought expert opinion of renowned expert in electronics, Engineer Francis Masawi. In his opinion, Eng Masawi said, the second option of Pito Investments’ bid which won the tender did not meet the redundancy requirements specified in the RFP addendum and therefore was not technically compliant.
On the strength of this opinion, BT Critical sought for the SPB decision set-aside by the Administrative Court and award it the tender because it was adjudged to be technically compliant and had the best overall price.
It appealed to the Administrative Court but lost. It then appealed to the Supreme Court and the matter is still pending. SPB, ZETDC and Pito Investments had opposed the urgent application arguing it was frivolous and vexatious.