KATIMA MULILO - Entrepreneurs in Zambezi Region have accused the Zambezi Regional Council particularly the Directorate of Education for awarding tenders in a dubious manner.
This comes after one of the entrepreneurs who owns a catering company, who didn’t want to be named lost a catering tender to supply food at an education meeting to be held in Katima Circuit.
According to the entrepreneur, despite all the documents being in order and being the one who quoted the lowest, the tender was awarded to someone else who quoted a higher amount.
The entrepreneur added that this has been going on for several times as some companies are favoured, and some particularly SMEs are always side-lined.
New Era learnt that one of the complainants who lost the bid to cater for about 146 people, worth about N$12,000 at a meeting to be held in Katima Circuit, was offered another catering tender at Ngoma Circuit worth about N$5,000, but she turned it down.
The entrepreneur wrote a rejection letter (seen by New Era) to the procurement committee. “I apply for all the tenders but always get the lowest of all tenders I apply for… Some entrepreneurs get catering tenders for a week or even days, but I never got more than a day of catering, why is it so? Despite offering lower submission of catering tenders,” reads the letter.
She further complained that they are always called late for tender submissions and this puts her enterprise at a disadvantage.
“They always call us very late, the day before the submission day, they don’t give us ample time to prepare,” she said. Asked why she turned down the tender she was offered, she stated that accepting it would have been operating on a loss. “What would I get if I accepted the tender? Nothing, as all the money will just be spent on the service I will provide and I would walk away empty handed,” she explained.
Contacted for comment, the Public Relation Officer at the Zambezi Regional Council, Damian Siyambango dismissed all the allegations. He explained that tenders at the council are always awarded in compliance with the Procurement Act. “There are no dubious means when awarding the tenders. The tenders are always awarded to the lowest bidder,” stated Siyambango.
He added that people should always approach his office to seek answers if they are unsuccessful in their submissions instead of rushing to the media. “My office is always open for any directions, it could be maybe that person did not have all the relevant documents that is why they did not get the tender even if they were the lowest bidder,” he elaborated.