The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) yesterday claimed that the awarding of a 2016 contract to Univern for the supply and maintenance of graders and provision of software programmes was above board.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee yesterday to explain steps taken to correct the wrongdoings at the institution that were exposed by the AG’s 2017 and 2018 audit reports Zinara board chairperson George Manyaya said processes to regularise contracts were done in 2016.
The report exposed Zinara’s failure to follow procurement procedures and inflating of charges for the supply of graders and three software programmes by Univern Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd.
“An initial process to regularise the Univern contracts was done through SPB/C24 of April 8, 2016. It was a condonation granted by the then State Procurement Board approving the engagements between Zinara and Univern. In 2021, Zinara embarked on a process to review the Univern contract, which process culminated in the signing of a new consolidated contract on June 2, 2022.
“Necessary consultations were done with key stakeholders in respect of this matter. A working committee was established with representatives from Zinara, the Ministry of Transport and AG’s office. Zinara and Univern entered into agreements which bind both parties. Following the doctrine of ‘sanctity of contracts’, both parties are bound to honour obligations created by the contract and, therefore, could be unilaterally terminated,” Manyaya said.