BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
SUSPENDED Gokwe town secretary Melania Mandeya (pictured), who was arrested last week on allegations of corruption and violation of procurement procedures, was yesterday denied bail by Gokwe resident magistrate.
Mandeya appeared before magistrate Musaiona Shotgame, who remanded her in custody to February 14 pending finalisation of investigations.
Allegations are that on November 4, 2015, Mandeya in her capacity as the Gokwe town secretary and knowing that the council was in need of a tailor to sew curtains, invited and awarded her relative, Zvichapera Zunzanyika, who lived with her, the tender without following proper procedures.
It is alleged the procedures included flighting an advertisement, receiving applications from prospective candidates and selecting a candidate among the applicants.
The State alleges Mandeya further hired Zunzanyika’s sewing machinery for US$36 without following proper procurement procedures.
It is alleged Gokwe Town Council subsequently paid Zunzanyika US$590 for her services.
The prosecution also alleged that sometime in 2015, Mandeya applied for a residential stand to the council’s human resources department and the department referred the application to the works and services committee, which recommended it before forwarding it to the full council for a resolution.
The State alleges that the full council resolved to allocate Mandeya stand number 156 Kambasha, Gokwe and she signed a lease agreement to that effect.
On September 28, 2017, Mandeya, acting in her official capacity, approached the council housing department and requested to be offered stand number 155 Kambasha, which is adjacent to stand number 156, despite her not being on the residential stands waiting list.
She occupied the stand and erected a precast security wall without formalising the paper work, prejudicing council of US$4 000.
The State further alleges that sometime in March last year, Mandeya required catering services for the service level benchmarking meeting and she invited tenders.
Kiki’s Kitchen, Faith Mashava’s Kitchen and Irene’s Catering Services responded by providing quotations.
It is also alleged that fully aware that the procurement management committee was responsible for handling the tender processes, Mandeya deliberately did not involve the unit and awarded the tender to Irene’s Catering Services, which belongs to her daughter-in-law Irene
Realising that she had flouted the procurement process and that certain documents were required by the finance department to process payments, Mandeya forged Kiki’s Kitchen and Mashava Faith Kitchen’s quotations and pegged their bids at $9 590, compared to Irene’s Catering service’s $8 040.
Mandeya then caused the payment of $4 000 to Irene’s Catering Services and the balance was set off to pay for stand number 187 Kambasha, Gokwe.
Mandeya is accused of disfavouring Gokwe Town Council by allowing it to pay more money than it should have, had the procurement committee been involved.
It is further alleged that Mandeya invited the services of Nerenchia Power Rite Company to supply and install a solar system at Gokwe Town Council without following due process.
Gokwe Town Council had been quoted $325 435 for the power system consisting of 24 by 330 watts solar panels, but Nerenchia allegedly installed 20 by 400 watts solar panels at council and four by 400 watts solar panels were installed at Mandeya’s private residence.
It is alleged the council was likely to pay less had it used the competitive bidding method to procure the said system.