There was outrage in Zimbabwe after it was revealed that two local companies had won a tender to supply laptops and desktop computers to the Zimbabwean Parliament at exorbitant prices. One of the tender winners demanded more than US$9 200 (roughly R160 000) for a single laptop.
Blinart Investments P/L won the tender to supply the Zimbabwean Parliament with 173 laptop computers for a total of US$1,602,755.77, or approximately R28,232,078.09.
Another company, Mid-End Computers and Hardware won a tender to supply Parliament with 79 desktop computers and charged more than US$3 000 for a single desktop.
The tender was cancelled, however, after the Ministry of Finance discovered that the prices of the laptops and desktop computers were grossly inflated.
The Secretary for Finance and Economic Development, George Guvamatanga, directed that the tender be cancelled in a letter to the Clerk of Parliament.
Guvamatanga also ordered that the two companies be barred from receiving future government contracts.
Part of Guvamatanga’s letter reads,
RE: TENDER AWARD FOR THE SUPPLY AND DELIVERY OF LAPTOPS AND DESKTOPS
Reference is made to the above subject matter.
It has come to Treasury’s attention that Parliament of Zimbabwe had awarded a tender for the supply and delivery of laptops and desktops to the following companies as follows:
BIDDER – Blinart Investments P/L
DESCRIPTION – 173 Laptops
TOTAL PRICE (USD) – 1 602 755.77
BIDDER – Mid-End Computers and Hardware (P/L]
DESCRIPTION – 79 Desktops
TOTAL PRICE (USD) – 243 052.36
Treasury notes with concern that these suppliers are charging USD9 264.48 and USD3 076.61 for a laptop and desktop, respectively. These USD dollar prices have been exorbitantly inflated way beyond those that are prevailing in the market and hence, are not acceptable.
Notwithstanding the high prices, this tender award is in complete disregard of the Treasury minute dated 3 August 2022, directing line Ministries to ensure value for money for Government and hence, to rationalise all procurement processes with a view to operating within the confines of the willing buyer willing seller foreign exchange rate.
In this regard and to ensure value for money for Government, in line with the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19] which empowers Treasury to manage and control pubic resources, Treasury directs that this tender be cancelled and the concerned suppliers be blacklisted from any future Government procurement process.
Please be guided accordingly.
SECRETARY FOR FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
There was even more outrage when the offices of the company which had won the tender to supply the laptops were revealed.