Ex-Harare council bosses in $32m scam

HARARE - Former Harare City Council (HCC) treasurer Wilton Janjazi and four other ex-procurement board members were dragged to court yesterday on allegations of abuse of office relating to $32 million worth of tenders that were reportedly awarded to unregistered companies.

The five — Misheck Mubvumbi, 64, Urayayi Mangwiro, 42, Masiye Kapare, 48, Paula Macharangwanda, 51, and Janjazi, 47 — appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Chimboza facing two counts of criminal abuse of duty as public officers.

Each of the accused persons was ordered to pay $400 bail and remanded to June 22.

Mubvumbi is a lawyer at J Mambara and Partners while Mangwiro, Kapare and Macharangwanda are former HCC procurement board members.

Sometime in 2010, the council embarked on a programme to rehabilitate its sewerage plants at Firle and Crowbrough.

Mubvumbi was responsible for ensuring availability of funds.

Janjazi, Mangwiro, Kapare and Macharangwanda were responsible for procurement of goods before recommending approval by full council.

At that time, Harare was governed by the Urban Councils Act which provided for the establishment of tender sub-committees composed of respective officials before recommending to the procurement board for award of contracts.

Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that sometime in 2010, Mubvumbi and his accomplices allegedly breached procedures and smuggled in an unregistered company for the award of a contract.

The contract was awarded to Energy Resources Africa Consortium and the accused persons reportedly came up with a bill of quantities that was not priced and corruptly neglected to request bidders to submit CR 14 forms, certificate of incorporation, tax clearance certificates and audited financial statements.

It was alleged that the Tender Formulation Team should have met to discuss, define and formulate the tender specifications for the rehabilitation of Firle Sewage Works.

The court heard that former town clerk Tendai Mahachi, Simon Takawira Muserere and Christopher Zvobgo connived with the accused persons and allegedly handpicked companies that had no capacity to bid for the rehabilitation.

On the tender opening day, it is alleged that Mubvumbi and his accomplices should have realised that Energy Resources Africa Consortium did not meet the prerequisite requirements and disqualified it on that basis.

In a bid to conceal the offence, the court heard that Mubvumbi and his accomplices referred to Energy Resources Africa Consortium as a registered company trading as Portriver.

An amount of $13 816 117,10 was deposited into the company’s account although no sewerage rehabilitation work was performed.

It was further alleged that using the same modus operandi, another tender was awarded to Sidal Engineering (Pvt) Ltd worth $18 121 125, 10 for the same sewerage rehabilitation project.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.