TRANSPORT minister Joram Gumbo has disclosed that the State Procurement Board (SPB) gave his ministry permission to bypass State tender procedures in order to repair damaged roads after the country experienced incessant rains.
By Veneranda Langa
Gumbo said this in the National Assembly recently during a question-and-answer session, when he was asked by Nomvula Mguni (Proportional Representation MP MDC-T) to tell to the House which roads had been repaired to date, using the money set aside for that purpose.
“When we called for an emergency on the state of our roads, we worked with the minister of Local Government Saviour Kasukuwere, and we requested His Excellency President Robert Mugabe to declare it as a disaster,” he said.
“We also requested, from the SPB, to bypass the tender procedure, so that we use available companies to repair the roads [throughout] the whole country.”
The government set aside $14,5 million, which was disbursed to the Department of Roads for the State Roads Emergency Rehabilitation Programme, which commenced on March 13.
Procurement Regulations (section 8) stipulate that all procurements above $500 000 (section 30 of the SPB Act) are the responsibility of the SPB.
Most of the country’s roads and bridges were severely damaged by Cyclone Dineo — later downgraded to a tropical storm — which hit several parts of Zimbabwe during the rainy season.
Gumbo said some roads, though, in Harare in particular, were not properly repaired.
“I realise that Chiremba Road in Harare was not properly repaired. Those that are not repairing the roads properly are the City of Harare. They are doing a shoddy job, but other companies that are repairing roads are doing it well. I have talked to Zinara [Zimbabwe National Roads Administration] so that they engage City of Harare to ensure the roads are repaired well.”
Gumbo said in order for his ministry to avoid having problems with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts and the Auditor-General’s Office for bypassing SPB procedures, the road infrastructure had to be declared a state of emergency, which was done.
In phase one of the repairs, Gumbo said they had completed two roads in Manicaland, Mashonaland Central (2), Mashonaland East (2), Mashonaland West has three roads, more than half complete, Masvingo four complete, Matabeleland North (1), Matabeleland South (2), Midlands (3), City of Harare (6), City of Bulawayo (4).
He said phase two of rehabilitation of roads would soon commence.