The signing of the controversial 750MW Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station envisaged for some time next week may be put off as the dispute over the manner in which the contract was manipulated to suit one contractor goes to court.
“Following the patent abrogation of the Zambia Public Procurement Authority Act the manner in which the tender was changed and modified after prequalification procedures we are for court process to seek justice,” one of the losing companies told the Daily Nation.
The main bone of contention was the post-qualification criteria and requirements that were introduced in the bidding document which were different from those of the prequalification phase of June 2013.
The new eligibility criteria could not be achieved by most of the companies that tendered because they appeared suited to one bidder.
“It is incomprehensible that the Government would be made to pay US$350million more to the highest bidder for no discernible reason. This is a cost which the Zambian people will have to pay in higher rates,” he said.
“The difference between US$1.48billion for the highest bidder and US$1.08billion for the lowest bidder is indicative of the problem confronting the project.”he said.
Officials at ZPPA could neither deny nor confirm that their advice for the award and evaluation process had been ignored, resulting in the unfair and unsound practices and breach of the Act.
Queries sent o Government and ZPP have since gone unanswered.