acc interrogates former housing and infrastructure permanent secretary in the is$5 million procurement scandal

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THE Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) has recorded a warn and caution statement from former Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary Charles

Mushota and former Chief Procurement and Supplies Officer Dorothy Katongo over irregularities in the procurement of a building at over US$5 million.

In a statement, ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono said while serving in their respective capacities at the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development, Mr Mushota and Ms Katongo are alleged to have wilfully failed to comply with the law.

He said the duo further failed to comply with applicable procurement procedures and guidelines in the procurement of Stand No. 237 United Nations Avenue, Longacres, now known as Infrastructure House, which was procured by Government through the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development at US$5.35million from a company called Zamworth Construction.

Mr Moono said it is also alleged that the two facilitated the procurement of the building without clearance from the Government Valuation Department and failed to ensure that adequate funds were available prior to initiating the procurement process contrary to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act No. 12 of 2008.

“Further, allegations are that the duo did not establish an Evaluation Committee to evaluate the bid submitted by Zamworth as prescribed in Regulation 114 (a) of the Public Procurement Regulations of 2011, and that they further inserted a clause prohibited by law in the contract, stating that a compounded interest of 5% per month would be charged to the Ministry for any unpaid balance,” he said.

Mr Moono said the clause was neither subjected to negotiation with Zamworth nor was it authorized by the Ministerial Procurement Committee.

He said Mr Mushota was in addition warned and cautioned in relation to allegations that he gave false information to a public officer on three occasions.

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