Government and Housing minister,
Sylvia Masebo has said her successor, Benny Tetamashimba was part of a
management decision that agreed to buy the 100 hearses.
She said Mr
Tetamashimba, who was her deputy then, should, therefore, desist from claiming
to be ignorant of the procurement process.
Speaking at a Press briefing
in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Masebo, however, said the payments were done after she
had left the ministry but were signed for by officials at the time that Mr
Tetamashimba was in charge.
Ms Masebo called the briefing to explain the
purchase of the hearses, the issue of office construction on Plot 4648, Los
Angeles Boulevard at Lusaka Girls and the 'Make Zambia Clean and Healthy'
She said she was able to substantiate her claims with
appendices as well as some payment vouchers, which she obtained at the ministry
after the president, during last week's Press conference, allowed her to reveal
what she knew about the procurement process.
She explained that at
management meetings held from May 27-30 last year, which she chaired and in
attendance were, among others, Mr Tetamashimba and the deputy Defence Minister,
Eustarkio Kazonga, who at that time was also deputy minister at Local
Government, it was agreed that the hearses should be procured.
same meeting, it was further agreed that 30 tractors with trailers for garbage
collection should be procured.
It was agreed that 150 utility vehicles
for health and planning inspections should be bought while public lavatories in
all districts should be constructed.
Ms Masebo said the implementation process of the purchase of the
hearses was started on June 2 last year by the then permanent secretary, Joel
At the implementation stage, she said ministers were not involved in
the transaction as the matter was technical and administrative.
15 the same year, Mr Ngo wrote to the director general of Zambia
National Tender Board (ZNTB) requesting to float the tenders for
the purchase of hearses as the total value was above the ministry's financial
Ms Masebo said on September 24 last year, ZNTB wrote to the
ministry stating that they did float the tenders and were closed on September 19
of the same year with four bids received.
The bids were from CFAO Limited
at US$3,285,100, Toyota Zambia at $4,702,200, Southern Cross Motors at
$3,412,000 and Top Motors Limited at $2,920,000.
On December 22, she said
a procurement and supplies unit of the ministry wrote to Top Motors stating that
they had won the tender to supply the hearse at a cost of $2,920,000.
the same day, Top Motors responded by accepting the offer and that on December
24, 2008 the two parties signed the contract.
"The payments were made in
accordance with the conditions agreed in the contract which was signed by
officials when Tetamashimba was in charge. I could not, therefore, be privy to
the mode of payment as I was no longer minister.
"However, the ministry
on December 29 paid first 40 per cent down payment of K5,958,800,000 and on
January, 7 2009, the second final payment of K8,935,200,000," shesaid.
Masebo said she would avail the ACC,
the president and other relevant investigative wings documented evidence to all
the issues leveled against her.
The ACC has, however, not summoned her but she was
looking forward to availing herself.