Chokuda admits Parliament cleared 173 laptop supply at US$9 200 each

HARARE – Under fire Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda has admitted his staff approved the purchase of 173 laptops valued at US$9 200 each but claims blocking the eventual signing of contracts with two Harare suppliers that were granted the controversial tenders.

This follows embarrassing revelations the legislative institution awarded tenders to two local companies to supply parliament with laptops and desktops at the shock prices.

According to leaked official communication to parliament by Finance Ministry secretary George Guvamatanga, Blinart Investments P/L won the tender to supply parliament with 173 laptop computers for a total of US$1,602,755.77.

This translates to a single gadget costing US$9 200.

Another company, Mid-End Computers and Hardware won a tender to supply 79 desktop computers to parliament, pricing its gadgets at above US$3 000 for a single desktop.

Treasury has since refused to honour the scandalous deals with Guvamatanga directing cancellation of the tenders and further blacklisting of the two companies from any future government procurement processes.

In a statement Saturday, Chokuda admitted the two companies went through tendering processes and were cleared by parliament’s Evaluation as well as Special Oversight Procurement Committees.

“It is during these processes that two companies were cleared as meeting the set criteria including the lowest price submissions payable in local currency,” Chokuda said.

He added, “However, while all the procurement processes had been adhered to and cognisant of the need to exercise prudence and probity in all procurement processes, our due diligence processes indicated that the prices quoted were highly inflated.

“It is at this particular point that on Friday 9th August 2022, I, as the Accounting Officer, directed the Parliament’s Director Procurement Unit, in the presence of Director Audit, to initiate cancellation of the tender and to proceed with the retendering as the quoted prices were not justified.

“It is in that regard, that no contract has been signed with any of the two suppliers, and no payment processes have been activated in respect of the two suppliers.

“As an institution of Parliament, we continually review our procurement processes and procedures and this incident provides an opportunity for us to reflect on our processes to make them more tight and robustly transparent.

“Parliament wishes to inform the public that we are conscious of our responsibility in the nation and it will always be guided by the need to get value for money in all its procurement processes.”

Chokuda however did not stat how the requisitions got to Treasury when parliament had blocked the contracts.

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