Citizens Coalition for Change vice-president Tendai Biti said the agreement between Zimbabwe and Belarus to supply fire tenders to Zimbabwe local authorities was null and void because it should have been approved by Parliament first.
The government could not procure any equipment on behalf of local authorities because they had a right a right to do so.
He was responding to a statement by Deputy Local Government Minister Marian Chombo that the tender was above board and had been agreed to by the local authorities.
Biti said this was a corrupt deal and Local Government Minister was looting the country.
“We cannot have a Ministry and a Minister that is now so hell-bent extracting and looting Zimbabwe. This fire tender is coming on the heels of the PomonaGate scandal. It is a shame Hon. Speaker and I hope that this House can resolve that Minister Chombo must reconsider her position,” Biti said.
PROCUREMENT OF FIRE TENDERS FROM BELARUS
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me the opportunity to present a few points about the procurement of fire tenders from Belarus. Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry takes note of the filtering news and questions asked in the public domain and Parliament around the procurement of fire tenders on behalf of local authorities by the Government of Zimbabwe. It is against this background that we have realised the need to clarify the bilateral agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, order please.
HON. CHOMBO: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry takes note of the filtering news and questions asked in the public domain and Parliament around the procurement of fire tenders on behalf of local authorities by the Government of Zimbabwe. It is against this background that we have realised the need to clarify the bilateral agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and its local authorities and the Government of Belarus with respect to the procurement of fire tenders.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry would like to advise that adequate consultations were made with various stakeholders including local authorities and the Chief Fire Officers’ Forum of Zimbabwe who contributed as follows:
- Local authorities made a request to Government for the facilitation of international procurement of durable and affordable fire tenders and other emergency services.
- Submitted ideal specifications that suit the local operating environment which were forwarded to potential suppliers in Belarus.
- The Chief Fire Officers’ Forum approved the models and designs which they believed best suited their operations as they are fully equipped with the requisite technology.
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