Recently president Edgar Lungu at his first press conference admitted that there was huge corruption in public procurement. Yet the den of thieves at State House who are the architects of this corruption remain resolute.
The Anti-Corruption Commission is yet to make a public announcement as to which tenders are under investigation.
The most recent case involves procurement of fire tenders (Fire brigade as they are called in Zambia) under the Ministry of Local Government & Housing.
On 3rd December 2015 Charles K. Chisanga, the Head of Procurement & Supplies Unit at the Ministry of Local Government & Housing awarded a US$42 million contract for to 42 Fire fighters at a cost of US$1 million each to a close associate of Kaizer Zulu, Bokani Soko. Soko is the owner of Grandeview International Ltd, whose offices are based at Reliance House, Thabo Mbeki Road, Lusaka.
A search at Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) reveals that the owners of Grandeview International Ltd are Bokani Soko and Quintino Soko. Soko is a very close associate of State House special assistant for corruption Kaizer Zulu.
Some of the bidders that were knocked out due to corruption are :
VISHA SUPPLIES LTD K38, 411, 963.00
AUTOCARE ZAMBIA LTD $ 6, 333, 000.00
SINOUNIZAM $ 9, 970, 600.00
CO.LTD $13, 986, 000.00
NAFFCO $14, 948, 200.00
HAB INT’L EURO 12, 799, 500.00
ICONIC 12, 726, 000.00
BUK 14, 052, 444.00
HLEBT ZGLER 14, 695, 800.00
FIRE RAIDERS (PTY) LTD $18, 624, 912.60
SAVENDA $19, 919, 781.00
AUTOMART EURO 18, 318, 720.00
HANDYMAN’S PARADISE 21, 630, 546.00
IVECO SA (PTY) LTD $23, 499, 000.00
BRANDVIEW LTD $42, 000, 000.00
ALBION $49, 560, 300.00
Only Zeigler Gmbh and Fire Raiders are manufacturers, the rest of the bidders such as Soko’s company are all trading companies. This means they will actually act as middlemen.
Some of the companies offered to build the fire tenders within Zambia at a lesser cost and therefore create employment.
When did Bokani go into firefighting business for the government to award him such huge tenders through his small, questionable company he owns with his relative?
Fo those who do not kow Bokani, he is just some pompous, arrogant, corrupt, fake lawyer based in Lusaka.
The tender figures themselves are overpriced obviously for the thieves to share the spoils. In South Africa, fire tenders are very cheap and with $42 million you can buy more than 100 and supply all councils in Zambia. You can tell how cheap the firefighters are even by looking at some of the bids which were as low as $9 million. We believe the people who placed other bids checked the market before submitting those figure.
Bokoni Soko and his company in collusion with State House robbers and the procurement officials agreed to inflate the price so that they can share the difference. Soko doesn’t even have that money to satisfy the contract but will depend on other thieves to buy the fire-fighters cheaply, probably only spend $10 million then share the $32 million. We understand Soko is depending on his partners in irregular fertiliser tender contracts to gaurantee or pay for the firefighters.
During the Ant-Corruption day, Lungu said he will be remembered as someone who fought corruption. He said he would not interfere with the work of the ACC. But how can he interfere when they are only arresting ‘small’ thieves and afraid to touch his partners and funders?