Publisher challenges permanent secretary over textbooks
The tender initially had four successful bidders.The other two were included after an appeal by both
The tender had to be re – evaluated and the ministry used the same evaluation committee to do the re-evaluation hence there was no major change to the original notification. This is against Zambia Public Procurement Authority regulation. The Publishers wanted to establish if the Ministry had given them legitimate expectation for business after spending Millions to develop books and paying evaluation fees. The matter is now before the Supreme Court as high court ruled that the complaints were not of the procurement process in question.
The Grade 1, 5, 8 and 10 Books have been delivered and the publishers have not yet been paid (as compared to the old system)
The Ministry has distributed the Books to some districts and some districts have not received Books as distribution is ongoing. The ministry has experienced shortages in distribution.
The Ministry failed to provide adequate warehousing and publishers had to find alternatives to store the books. Some publishers delivered books without pre-shipment inspection and were provided with warehousing. Ministry officials requested accommodation from publisher’s against contractual obligations during pre- shipment visits. Grade 2, 6, 9 and 11 tender underwent re- evaluation due to inconsistences. The Ministry sent the same evaluation team to re- evaluate. When the law requires that they appoint a new evaluation committee.
The Bid validity of the tender was 120 days and expired on 5th August 2015. There was no extension. The notification was 3rd November 2015 making the tender null and void. The tender committee evaluated and procured Books that have not passed through curriculum development center. Weighted average formula used to procure materials is for countries that have an emergency or lack of capacity to develop materials. It is an outdated formula as it compromises quality and the use is highly technical and makes it difficult to be done manually.
In 2013 the Zambia Public Procurement Authority director advised Ministry not to adopt the centralized procurement system and hence framework contract were signed. Upon the appointment of the new Zambia Public Procurement Authority Director and new permanent secretary in the Ministry of General Education, the Ministry reverted back to the system that Zambia Public Procurement Authority had advised against.
There is great need for the permanent Secretary and his team to meet with the publishers to iron out the differences as the problem keeps on escalating. The Ministry intention to bull doze the publishers just because they are the buyers of materials is against natural justice. I challenge the Permanent Secretary to respond to my allegations through a sponsored advert.
Yes, Ambassador Schultz should stay away
from Zambian affairs
I would be glad if my contribution would be published in your newspaper.
I write to back one of the letters which was published by your newspaper on November 13 by a retired diplomat of the republic of Zambia as regards to the conduct by some ambassadors accredited to Zambia with specific reference to United States (US) ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz.
I too, as a former diplomat is flabbergasted when I see Mr Schultz throw away his diplomatic etiquette and openly meddles in the country’s political affairs.
It must be made known to him that we are a sovereign country and have the right to govern ourselves in the manner we deem fit.
The Zambian people have elected their government and it is expected the other countries should work with the government of the day to uplift the living standards of the majority poor people.
This idea of propagating for regime change by some ambassadors accredited to Zambia must stop forthwith.
There is no need by the diplomats accredited to Zambia to start attempting to influence public opinion in favour of certain opposition political parties.
Mr Shultz is on record as having said that Zambians have the right to vote out a government that was making mistakes.
In as much as this statement may seem to be genuine, the timing and the manner it was said leaves much to be desired.
Zambia will next year go to the polls and we have an ambassador saysuch a highly suggestive statement.
In as much as Zambia is poor and needs help economically from powerful countries, there is need to respect our internal affairs.
There is need for the ministry of foreign affairs to quickly react to such interference. It is by so doing that these people would be retrained to have an openly antagonistic stance towards the government.
It is hoped that no such statements bordering on internal matter interference would be witnessed again.
If they do, the ministry of Foreign affairs should immediately take on such acts by responding and lodging in complaints with the various countries such diplomats come from.
The statement by HH that he will hold massive meetings on the Copperbelt with or without the police permit leaves much to be desired.
Any law breaker daring the police must be dealt with accordingly without fear or favour.
There are a lot of repercussions for holding meetings without a permit, people go to these meetings with different motives, if a riot breaks out and shops are rooted, who will be blamed?
It is not the Government of the day? Undoubtedly we have enjoyed peace and tranquility since 1964 because of the Public Order Act (POA).
Without POA there will be total chaos and ungovernance. POA is there to avoid bloodshed.
Police must not hesitate to arrest law breakers and many African countries use this law to avoid bloodshed and more importantly chaos. Comrade HH should not make comparison with Edgar Lungu who is the President enjoying certain privileges in accordance with our constitution.
Edgar Lungu was legitimately given the mandate by the people of Zambia, therefore anyone undermining his Government must be caged by police without any hesitation.
Trying to take power by force or through the back door is treason.