MYSTERY surrounds Kwekwe’s prepaid water meter tender, which council was forced to re-advertise last year amid accusations management could be sitting on it for ulterior motives.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
The tender, which would have seen the local authority introduce a pilot prepaid-billing system after acquiring 200 prepaid water meters, has been mired in controversy amid allegations of tender manipulation and fraud.
Council was forced to cancel the first tender in 2015, which could have seen the local authority pay Tricon Investments $340 000 for the deal, after corruption allegations emerged.
Councillor Aaron Gwalazimba said he was worried because after the tender was re-issued, the executive had not provided any update on the matter.
“We have been kept in the dark and are unaware as to what is happening. We saw the advert, but there has been no report back. We are now worried,” he said.
Another councillor, Maclean Nyakucherera, said the delays could trigger fresh suspicions that the deal was being tampered with.
“We can’t build confidence where there is lack of information. We want to be informed so that we can also keep residents up to speed with developments,” he said.
Mayor Matenda Madzoke told NewsDay no tender would be issued unless approved by council and ruled out corruption as well as possible tender manipulation.
“It is true that the matter has not been brought back to council, we will allow management to do it’s work, but I can assure the residents and other ratepayers that no tender will be issued without our approval,” he said.
Madzoke said councillors had proven to be vigilant and would not be duped by “delays or side-shows”.
Three companies — Tricon Investments, Snylak (Pvt) Ltd ($210 852) and Merchant Links ($231 707) — are respectively top contenders for the tender.