In total disregard of investigations by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Zambia Public Procurement Authority, the Ministry of Education is today expected to award a textbooks tender to foreign owned publishing houses.
This is also inspite of the absence of an approved book list which should have been availed to all publishers and the nation as a whole
According to information reaching Daily Nation, the ZPPA had written to the Ministry of Education to stop the process because of ongoing investigations, but the ministry would award the tender today. And the Ministry of Education confirmed the awarding of the tender today but could not give details.
Zambian publishers have complained about the criteria the ministry was using to award tenders to foreign companies at the expense of local publishers. The ministry has awarded the highly disputed publishing contract to a foreign-owned publishing company ahead of an investigation by a Parliamentary Select Committee that has accorded aggrieved Zambian publishers a hearing.
Zambian publishers have called for an independent investigation conducted by academicians and impartial parties to determine why more than US$10 million will be paid to non-indigenous publishing houses, leaving out Zambian-owned companies which have the capacity to undertake the task.
The publishers said it was for that reason it was difficult to trust the ACC investigations, looking at a time they took to complete the investigations.
“We are not sure if the investigations were done or not because the ACC have not communicated to us and that is why we were concerned at the time it was taking for the ACC to complete the alleged investigations,” one of the local publishing company owner said.
The publishers are now seeking the intervention of the Head of State whom they believe was the only alternative as institutions that were supposed to defend the country’s integrity appeared to have failed.