Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE State Procurement Board (SPB) has cancelled a Bulawayo City Council (BCC) tender for solar street lights after receiving a complaint from one of the interested parties.
Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube confirmed the development but did not give further details.
“There was an expression of interest last year. When we were still trying to finalise the awarding of the tender, one of the parties wrote to SPB complaining and then the SPB ordered us to stop everything,” said Mr Dube.
He referred further questions to BCC’s senior public relations officer Mrs Nesisa Mpofu who declined to comment saying the SPB will be better positioned to do so.
“Council cannot comment on the tender as the adjudication process has not been finalised. The SPB is better placed to comment,” said Mrs Mpofu.
SPB chairperson, Ambassador Buzawani Mothobi could not immediately comment on the matter.
He requested that questions be put in writing for the SPB to respond after the holidays.
Acting Mayor councillor Collet Ndlovu professed ignorance over the matter saying councillors no longer participate in the awarding of tenders.
Last year, Government issued a directive stopping councillors from involvement in the awarding of tenders as part of measures to fight corruption.
Last September, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde Saviour Kasukuwere suspended five councillors in Bulawayo for alleged corruption including the city’s former deputy mayor Mr Gift Banda.
Three councillors were later exonerated but Mr Banda together with ward 21 Clr Reuben Matengu were fired from council following an investigation by an independent tribunal.
Mr Banda has since approached the High Court seeking to be reinstated on grounds that he is innocent.