The government must explain why it has decided to contract for the supply of diesel a company Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba allegedly accused of offering him a bribe, Charles Kakoma has demanded.
Kakoma who is former chairperson for parliamentary committee on economics, energy and labour energy told the Daily Nation that it was shocking that the PF administration had awarded a multimillion dollar contract to a company the same government accused of being corrupt.
The former UPND lawmaker said that it was irregular and questionable for the PF to have contracted Dalbit after accusing it of being corrupt.
The government awarded the contract to supply the nation’s diesel needs to Dalbit Petroleum Limited; a company Minister of Justice Kabimba claimed wanted to bribe him.
Dalbit was also cited by the Wynter Kabimba-led Energy Regulation Board Commission of Inquiry for irregularities which were blamed for the loss of US$2 million during the Rupiah Banda regime.
According to a letter of notification of award of contract for the supply and delivery of diesel lot 2 worth over US$387 million, the tender had been given to Dalbit Petroleum Limited of Kenya.
The offer means that Zambia will pay US$1.06 per litre of diesel compared to an average of US$2.11 per litre paid to Trafigura under a contract that is still under controversy.
“This is to inform all the bidders who participated in the tender for the supply and delivery of 366 million litres of diesel lot 2 that the tender has been concluded and the ministry intends to award the contract to the best evaluated bidder Dalbit Petroleum Limited of Kenya at an estimated contract sum of US$387,446,428. 80,” he said
Kakoma said that Zambia would continue procuring expensive diesel as long as government continued dealing with corrupt middlemen.
“The whole issue is bordering on transparency in the procurement of fuel. I am aware that last year Zambia awarded Trafigura a contract to supply fuel which was costly to the country and the country lost out.
We need to go to the source of fuel in order for us to buy fuel at more competitive prices. We are now buying diesel at about US1 per litre, this begs for questions why previously government was buying fuel at US$2 per litre. Obviously someone in the PF government benefited in this deal,” said Kakoma.
And Kakoma who is UPND spokesperson has urged government to plan the procurement process of the fuel needs for the country rather than depending on the third source sthat were usually exorbitant in prices.
He said that there was need for government to do away with the 25 per cent duty tax which was aimed at protecting the local supplier.