It has been revealed that Harare wanted to acquire 5 fire tenders for US$68 000 from the United Kingdom but Local Government Minister July Moyo chose to have government acquire a single truck for US$400 000 from Belarus.
This was revealed early this week during a Parliamentary debate in the National Assembly.
Binga South legislator Joel Gabbuza said the Ministry of Local Government had gone against the wishes of Harare in procuring such a costly acquisition when it had offered a cheaper one.
“The point that Hon. Banda brought about US$68 000 to pay for five fire tenders, in fact I believe they were from the United Kingdom.
“There has been a history in all councils and people have constantly supplied tenders to us with the cost of transport being met by councils.
“There is no sanctions issue on paying the US$68 000.
“If you look at City of Harare, it would rather have five fire tenders for US$68 000 than pay off this massive debt.
“Can the Minister confirm that the council was offered the option?
The Ministry of Local Government however, disregarded the offer by Harare and chose to use its Government to Government agreement with Belarus to acquire Fire Tenders for all local authorities at an average price of US$400 000 each.
The funds to be used will be taken from the devolution allocation for each council.
The move has not gone down well with many who have raised speculation that this could be a corruption scam by government officials and their cronies in Belarus.
History of Wrong Acquisitions
To back up this point it has been raised that a similar fire tender was once acquired by Hwange Colliery Company but it never worked.
The Local Government Ministry has also been known to bungle such deals and in 2019 acquired the wrong water pumps for Gweru City Council.
According to one legislator the Ministry bought agriculture irrigation pumps instead of a dresser pump that was required.
However, Deputy Minister for Local Government Marian Chombo has allayed those fears.
“On the suitability of equipment, as I said, the Allied Timbers have one like that and we made visits to go and see and we are convinced it works because it is working at Allied Timbers.
“When we have fires in that area they are the ones who come and assist within Manicaland.
“So we have one has been proven,” she said.
The fire tenders are yet to be delivered and Chombo said she isn’t aware when they will arrive.