Workers at Government Printers have called on the Anti Corruption Commission to investigate how an inflated security fencing project was awarded without following tender procedures.
Works and Supply Permanent Secretary Major Francis Kapono Kamanga, however, when contacted could not confirm the allegations as he was in Chinsali.
Major Kamanga told the Daily Nation in a telephone interview that he was not aware and could not comment on the matter because he was not in the office.
And asked whether government printers floated for tenders for the project, Maj. Kamanga could not confirm and only asked Daily Nation Reporter to send him a press query and would address the concern as he was out of town.
“I am not aware about such allegations because I am out of office in Chinsali so what you can do is send all your questions with regard to the project and will respond because will be in Lusaka by Friday,” he said.
A senior official at Government Printers is reported to have awarded a security fencing contract to a PF official without following tender procedures.
And now the Anti Corruption Commission has been asked to intervene to stop the fraudulent contract.
The officer is also allegedly refusing to sign cheques for suppliers affiliated to the opposition political parties that provided services to the institution.
And Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has said that the PF government needs to commit itself to improving the public procurement system.
TIZ president Rueben Lifuka said “it is evident that the government has already start to slid into the muck of obscure tender processes which are only beneficial to party operatives and people close to the ruling elite.
“This is really unfortunate for a party that came to power promising to fight graft. The abuse of single sourcing was the achilles heels for the MMD, it will serve as a millstone that will sink the PF government if it continues on this path”.
He said his organisation condemns the awarding of the contract without following laid down procedures and called on the Zambia Public Procurement Authority to immediately cancel these contracts and call for tenders.
“There is no real urgency to single source and we want to remind the PF government not to fritter away public funds on projects simply intended to enrich their party cadres,” he said.
Sources from Government Printers offices told the Daily Nation that the project was even inflated as the premises involved could not justify the amount charged.
They said the senior PF official and a minister’s son had been seen frequenting the premises to check on the fence project is supposed to be constructed and that works would commerce soon.
Workers at government printers complained that the monies that would be paid for such works was more than the cost of work.
They said the tender was awarded because the two were PF cadres and that senior officers at the institution had been ordered to work with PF members other than those that did not support the government of the day.
Meanwhile suppliers have complained of non payment despite them providing services to Government Printers.
They expressed displeasure that an institution that operated independently has now been compromised.
The sources said it was sad that people that supplied services recently to the institution had been paid while those that had supplied earlier have not yet been given.
“We don’t know what is happening to this institution any more. We are being used by politicians and we feel it is not in order because this will bring the operations of the company down.
Recently they have given a contract to one of the PF leaders who was frequenting this place together with a minister’s son. We know anytime soon these people are moving on site to mount the fence. It is a small job but there are millions involved.
We want the authorities to investigate what is happening at Government Printers and ensure that there was transparency in the way certain things were conducted.
These people have been allowed to work without following tender procedures and we want the investigative wings to come in and probe the happenings at the institution.
There is no transparency in what is happening here. We want people in management investigated. We know some people that have not been paid their dues for services offered to the institution just because they sympathised with opposition political parties,” said one worker.