ZIMBABWE Anti-Corruption Commission detectives have pounced on Nyaminyami Rural Council chief executive officer Cletus Gwabva Matingwina and arrested him for allegedly violating tender procedures when he invited bids for sport hunting concessions.
Matingwina appeared before Chinhoyi regional magistrate Shepherd Munjanja this afternoon and was granted US$400 bail.
The complainant in the matter is the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe represented by its operations director Benson Share.
Allegations are that sometime in November 2022, Nyaminyami RDC floated a tender and invited bid for sport hunting concessions in Omay North and Omay South under tender number NRDCO003/22 and NRDCO004/22 in respect of Omay North and South, respectively.
Both tenders had a cumulative value of US$963 462.00.
lt is alleged that bids for the two tenders were opened in the presence of bidders on December 1 2022 and, four bids were received from Hingeston Hakamore and Koch Safaris (HHK), Sunfish Enterprises (Pvt) Lid t/a Bulembi Safaris, Old Way Safaris Pvt Limited and Martin Peters Safaris.
The State alleges that on December 12 last year, the evaluation of the two tenders were done and the evaluation committee recommended that tender be awarded to Martin Pieters Safaris being the overall highest bidder and, in the event, that he fails to take the offer the contract be awarded to Sunfish Enterprises Safaris (Pvt) limited t/a Bulembi Safaris.
However, Martin Preters was disqualified on the basis that it submitted two bids against the requirement of part (1)(b) of the standard bidding document .
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On April 16 this year, the procurement entity flighted fresh bids and Hingston Hallamore and Koch Safaris, Sunfish Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd Bulembi Safaris and Martin Pieters responded with their offers.
lt is alleged that on April 19 this year, the evaluation committee noted that Martin Peters Safaris offered a more feasible community social responsibility. However, out of the three bidders, Sunfish Enterprises [Pvt] Ltd t/s Bulembi Safaris, Dalton and York Safaris had the highest bid based on the financial and corporate social responsibility evaluation combined.
The committee recommended that the contract be awarded starting with Sunfish Enterprises Pvt Limited t/a Bulembi Safaris on top, followed by Dalton and York Safaris, Martin Pieters Safaris and Hingston and Hallamore and Koch Safaris, respectively.
The award criteria was premised on proof of the companies’ directors not having pending court or criminal records.
On April 25, the accused went on to disqualify Sunfish Enterprises Pvt Limited t/a Bulembi Safaris, Dalton and York Safars on claiming that it was a subsidiary of Afropride Safaris which had a pending case in the Supreme Court under case number 395/22, but did not attach supporting documents.
Matingwina proceeded to provisionally award the contract to Martin Pieters Safaris, contrary to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act Chapter 22:23 amendment of 2018, which does not provide for provisional award of contracts.
The State alleges that Matingwina's decision to disqualify the recommended bidder is against the objectives of public procurement as provided for under section 4 of the PPDPA Act.
Investigations established that the standard bidding documents for tender number NRDCSHO1/23 provided that no bidder was allowed to submit more than one bid in part (1) (b) and conflict of interest would arise if the bids were received from more than one bidder.
The accused person’s unilateral decision to disqualify a recommended bidder in the absence of documentary proof justifying his decision was meant to favour the losing bidder.
The State further alleges that Matingwina without justifiable cause, issued letters of award that was in contrast with the evaluation committee’s recommendations wherein he cited that Afropride Safaris had failed to produce documentation that Geared it from legal issues levelled against it and provisionally awarded the contract to Hingeston Hallamore and Koch Safaris [HHK].