Govt Gesture Saves Gweru Millions

Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief

GOVERNMENT’S intervention in sourcing four water pumps for City of Gweru at a cost of US$440 000 has saved the local authority from paying an outrageous US$6 million for the same products.

Council recently invited tenders for the procurement of the four new water pumps to be installed at Amapongobwe Dam, an alternative to Gwenhoro Dam, which has less than a month’s water supply.

Amapongokwe, according to city fathers, is 70 percent full. To avert a potential disaster, the local authority revealed that the lowest tender submitted had quoted US$6 million against a Government assisted quotation of merely US$$440 000.

GCC acting finance director Mr Owen Masimba recently told a supplementary budget consultative meeting that they needed US$6 million to purchase four water pumps for Amapongobwe Dam.

However, Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing July Moyo, addressing the National Assembly, said GCC had made an outrageous tender for the four pumps.

“Council made a tender which was outrageous and required a lot of money, but we have now been able to get pumps that can pump more water than what was there. Because of the pumps that we are going to acquire from South Africa that are genuine, we are hoping to have those before the two months for use at Amapongobwe so that we can address the water challenges,” he said.

Addressing the media during a State of the City address at Town House, Gweru Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe said after approaching Minister of State for Provincial Midlands Affairs Larry Mavima and Minister Moyo for Government assistance in procuring the pumps, the inflated figures came down to US$440 000.

“We engaged the Honourable Resident Minister Mavima to assist and eventually we managed to speak to Honourable July Moyo and with their assistance I am happy to say Government has agreed to loan us US$440 000 to procure four pumps that will ease the water situation that we have in the city. The quotations that we were getting from the tenders that we flighted was close to US$6 million and that is what we have been talking about. But when we engaged the minister who assisted us and we also got in touch with a consultant who looked at what we really wanted and got quotations outside the country, the quotations came up $6,1 million which is close to US$440 000,” he said.

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