BULAWAYO councillors on Wednesday accused the council’s procurement board of awarding a tender to service 391 medium-density residential stands at Emhlangeni to an undeserving company.
Report by Khanyile Mlotshwa
The matter generated heated debate with some councillors saying the tender should have been awarded to AP Glendenning instead of the eventual winner, Stelix Civil Engineers and Contractors.
Luveve councillor Israel Mabaleka said it was important for the local authority to operate in a manner that was above board.
“Although we appreciate that our committee (municipal procurement board) is trying to empower our own people, on Stelix I would like to differ,” he said.
“Even our legal adviser pointed out that we were taking a risk.
“At times, I think this is what caused the procurement board to be dissolved (by the government).”
Deputy mayor Amen Mpofu said awarding of council tenders had of late raised eyebrows.
“It appears of late, something suspicious is happening,” he said.
“Three months back I had information that AP Glendenning had been recommended, but it seems it later changed.
“It is now a known fact that someone (an employee in the council) changes agreed positions.”
“I now don’t understand what’s happening with the staff.”
Bellevue councillor Jennifer Bent said it was important for the local authority to protect its image where tenders were concerned.
“Not long ago, we had the (Local Government) minister (Ignatius Chombo) on our backs over this committee,” she said.
“This council should try and protect its image. When you go through this report you can see that concessions were being made to accommodate one player.”
Committee chairperson and Entumbane councillor Prince Dube, however, maintained that Stelix deserved to be awarded the tender.
“The cheapest bidder being Stelix was recommended,” he said.
“We are convinced that they are capable of carrying out the bid because in the past, they were able to do the job to a satisfactory degree.”
The councillors later agreed to award the tender to Stelix l.