3.1 The Tender Process in Selection of the Contractor
The first tender for the project was opened in 2013 and won by China Jiangxi Corporation. The solar plant was projected to cost around 183 million dollars with a capacity to generate 100 MW. Intratrek was among five other bidders that participated and lost.
The State Procurement Board, during that period was regulated by the repealed State Procurement Act Chapter 22:14. The Committee noted with concern that certain procedures and provisions of the Act were violated during the award for both the first and second tenders. These were the areas of contention:
3.1.1 Negotiation of Submitted Bids
The Committee was informed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Procurement Regulatory Authority, Mr. N. Chizu, that some provisions of the repealed State Procurement Act were violated during submission of bids in the first tender. The project was advertised in June 2013 and the award was given to China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Corporation in January 16, 2014. Before conclusion of the award, ZPC’s Accounting Officer Mr. N. Gwariro, recommended an additional award of the tender to China Jiangxi and Intratrek.
This was in contravention of section 31 (1) (n) of the Procurement Act Chapter 22:14 which prohibited the negotiation of submitted bids. ZPC’s accounting officer was penalised and ordered to pay a sum of $900 by the State Procurement Board. The Committee also noted that late former Executive Chairman of State Procurement Board (SPB), Mr. Charles Kuwaza was complicit in allowing negotiations on submitted bids to take place.
The Committee was told by officials from the Procurement Regulatory Authority that minutes and board resolutions by SPB clearly showed that attempts were made to frustrate and push out the original winner of the bid, China Jiangxi. Mr. Chivayo told the Committee that he was not pleased that locals had not won the tender. In an effort to push the empowerment agenda for locals, the Committee noted with concern that Mr. Chivayo was not willing to approach the court to get redress. In his own admission, Mr. Chivayo stated that“…., after the award I then went to the Minister, Hon. Mavhaire and I explained to him that in the beginning the whole solar project was my brainchild,……” In the process the first tender faced a number of challenges and had to be cancelled. However all these allegations could not however be independently verified.
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