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 2009-06-30 06:16 pm Back to NEWS
Masebo Implicates Teta in Hearses Saga

FORMER LOCAL 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' programme.

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.

At the 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 Ngo.

At the implementation stage, she said ministers were not involved in the transaction as the matter was technical and administrative.

On July 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 limit.

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.

On 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.

Ms 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.

 
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