POSTAL and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) director-general Gift Kallisto Machengete appeared at Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday facing criminal abuse of office charges after he allegedly engaged a local company to construct Container Village Information Centres (CVICs) valued at $1 494 104 without going to tender.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Machengete who appeared before magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa was remanded to January 15 on $500 bail.
As part of his bail conditions, he was ordered to surrender his passport with the clerk of court and report to the police twice a week on Mondays and Fridays.
Machengete was appointed Potraz director-general on December 1, 2016. Sometime in December last year, Potraz resolved to procure CVICs,which were going to be mounted countrywide.
The State alleges in February, Machengete wrote to the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Praz) requesting a waiver of procurement regulations to enable the authority to purchase CVICs through quotations because container conversion was a specialised skill.
It is alleged on February 12, Praz wrote back to Machengete advising them to procure through the normal tender process.
Instead, on February 15, Machengete, in violation of the Procurement Act approved a memo recommending sourcing of quotations for the supply of CVICs from four companies.
It is alleged Potraz subsequently purchased 24 CVICs from B Smart Business Solutions at $70 682,95 each, totalling $1 494 104, through comparative schedule despite the fact that the value involved required competitive bidding in terms of the Procurement Act.
The State further alleges that Machengete, in his capacity as the chief accounting officer signed the contract between Potraz and B Smart Business Solutions for the supply and purchase of the CVICs. B Smart Business Solutions has since erected 20 CVICs and was paid $1, 032 755, 38.
Linda Gadzikwa appeared for the State.