Nuusita Ashipala Ongwediva-Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry is embroiled in a tug-of-war with several security firm moguls, who accuse the ministry of recommending companies not complying with tender requirements to provide security personnel to the ministry. Among the seven short-listed companies being considered for the tender are companies registered between June 2013 and March 2017, contravening the five-year requirement in the security trade. New Era has confirmed the registration dates with the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade. However, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, Percy Misika, rubbished these claims. He is adamant his officials followed all due processes and advised those with complaints to put them in writing and channel them through to the relevant office. He laughed off allegations that he had a hand in shortlisting the companies. The businessmen alleged one of the shortlisted companies was registered in Misika’s granddaughters’ name with his residential address. “Then they do not know me. I do not have granddaughters,” he said, dismissing the claim as a malicious joke. An objection letter forwarded to the Ministry of Finance chairperson of the review panel mentions that apart from the five-year requirement some companies were not in possession of the prerequisite letter from the bank. The complainants have apparently lodged a case with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to probe the alleged irregularities. Except for companies shortlisted on merit, the ministry has rejected bids meeting the requirements despite the fact that they are already providing security services to the ministry. They further accused the agriculture ministry of shortlisting firms with inflated prices that would result in 200 percent profit. “We are being replaced with inexperienced companies. Yet the ministry owes us money because of the current economic downfall affecting all government operations,” moaned one losing bidder.
2017-12-20 09:11:06 9 months ago