US$23M CORRUPTION ROW ERUPTS

By Bennie Mundando and Simon Muntemba

A US$23 million row has broken out between TechNet Zambia Limited and On-Track Innovations over a contract to supply equipment to RTSA.

The two companies won the contract, but TechNet Zambia has been left out and instead Savenda Management Services have been drafted into it by On-Track
Innovations.

TechNet has since taken the matter to Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to determine how a foreign company could vary the terms of a
contract to leave a partner out.

TechNet director Frederick Wamulume said his company would not rest until it received its 20 percent share from the transaction.

“Savenda has already been given around US$17 million and still has a balance of almost US$7 million for the contract they did not bid for. What we are asking for is our 20 percent share because we won that contract together with On-Track Innovations and RTSA will have to explain how they involved a third party who never participated in the bidding process and pushed us out of the transaction,” Mr. Wamulume said.

Meanwhile, RTSA executive director Zindaba Soko confirmed the development saying the two companies were in discussions over the same contract but that he was not privy to the complaint TechNet had lodged with ZPPA.

Mr Soko said he was aware that Savenda and TechNet were in discussions over the same contract but that this was beyond him as he was not privy to the complaint.

The contract involves the installation, commissioning, and implementation of the e-Zamtis project.

In 2011, Government opened bids for the e-Zamtist project under RTSA whose tender TechNet and On-Track Innovations Limited won but Savenda was irregularly brought on “commercial” aspects of the project, while excluding TechNet completely.

According to a complaint lodged with ZPPA by TechNet dated October 10, 2017, the company wants an explanation on why Savenda which was not a party to the bidding process had been paid huge amounts of money sand excluding them.

Efforts to get a comment from Savenda executive director Clever Mpoha proved futile as his mobile phone went unanswered while a WhatsApp message query sent to him was not responded to despite showing that it was delivered.

And further efforts made were all in vain as the Daily Nation reporter who went to Savenda offices in Woodlands to get a comment from the management proved futile as he was told that the executive director was out of office and unable to make a comment.

The reporter was promised that Mr Mpoha would get back to him yesterday but that has not been the case.

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