Independent Parliamentarian Temba Mliswa (Norton) and Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) member Tendai Biti (Harare East) have called for a forensic audit into how Parliament approved acquisition of 173 laptops and 79 desktops which were overpriced at US$9 264,48 and US$3 076,61 per unit, respectively.
The tender was awarded to Blinart Investments P/L and Mid-End Computers Hardware P/L amid suspicion of procurement malpractices following an outcry that the unit prices for the gadgets were inflated.
Speaking in Parliament, Mliswa said there is need for a forensic audit backdated 2013 to date
“The recent allegations of laptops being bought over US$9.000 bring one thing in question. From all the procurements which have been done, how much has been the inflated price? It is pretty clear there was no argument from the statement of the Clerk in terms of inflated price. We need to undertake a forensic audit on the procurement of all what we have done since 2013 when I joined Parliament to date.
“Clearly, it is an issue which we trust Administration but they have been exposed. As a result, our role is to ensure that taxpayers’ money is for value. In fact, what they call it is value for money even in terms of the Procurement Act, you must have a budget for what you are buying. For your Procurement Act, you must have a procurement plan.
“So the budget for US$9 000 – where did it come from; we passed the budget? Did they have a procurement plan? The SPOCS is chaired by the Attorney General who must sign minutes of all this. Was this done?” Mliswa charged
Biti echoed Mliswa’s assertions saying there is need for an external forensic audit of the laptops transaction.
I support the call by Hon. Mliswa that let us have an external forensic audit of this transaction. I thank you very much. We need to maintain our moral high ground Mr. Speaker. So let us have an external enquiry over the issue of laptops.