ACC officer testifies in Nevers Mumba case

MMD president Nevers Mumba as envoy to Canada was accountable for all the tender violations which occurred at the sub-procurement stage, a senior investigations Officer of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) testified yesterday.

Mr Desmond Chibola said Dr Mumba being occupant of the High Commissioner’s residence had a special duty to ensure that the works were done by following the tender procedures.

He said Dr Mumba should take responsibility for the decisions of the committee members which awarded a contract to Argos Services for the carpeting and Rescone for electrical plumbing before an approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Chibola testified that Dr Mumba allegedly abused his authority of office in the manner he contracted jobs for the carpeting at the High Commissioners Residence in Canada at the cost of 18,000 Canadian dollars.

He said during an investigation he collected documents and interviewed witnesses and his findings were that the sub procurement committee meeting was conveyed and chaired by Nedson Nzowa the Deputy High Commissioner for the tender bids on the carpeting of the residence.

Mr Chibola said during the same meeting three companies namely Brooke Site, Agos Carpets and Felo Flooring companies also bided for the contract.

He however said the sub Committee had no authority to award a contract on the basis that the amount was higher than the threshold.

Mr Chibola told the court that although subcommittee submitted a tender request to the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs for awarding of a contract for carpeting which was below the rate of 10,000 Canadian Dollars, Dr Mumba signed a contract valued at 18,000 Canadian Dollars and awarded it to Argos.

He said it was irregular for Dr Mumba to award a contract to Argos Carpeting Services when the government had recommended Brooks Services.

Mr Chibola said Dr Mumba should not have paid a 50% deposit to the said company in absence of the bank guarantee adding that by law he was supposed to pay a 20% of which if the works were not impressive a refund could have been obtained through a bank guarantee. He testified that criminal liability was also established in the manner Dr Mumba solicited the funds.

Mumba is accused of failing to comply with procedures in receiving and disbursing CAD$122, 229.85, and illegally awarding a contract for electrical works (CAD$9,000) to Rescone Construction Services and carpeting at the High Commissioner’s residence to Argos Carpet Limited at a cost of (CAD$19,850).

Ndola High Court Deputy Director sitting in as a Magistrate adjourned the matter to May 23.

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