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ZPPA clears ZESCO over wooden pole importation deal

The Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) has cleared ZESCO over its decision to procure wooden poles from Zimbabwe and South African companies.

In a letter written to PF PresidentIal Aspirant Emmanuel Mwamba dated 23rd May 2022, ZPPA stated that the use of Limited Bidding procurement method by ZESCO to acquire the wooden poles was within the law.

ZPPA Director General Idah Chulu said ZESCO relied on Section 42(2) of the Public Procurement Act No. 8. Of 2020 which states that when there is an urgent need for the goods, works or services and engaging open bidding would be impractical, limited bidding procurement method would be used.

Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba reported to both the Anti-Corruption Commission and the ZPPA to probe the procurement the supply and delivery of nine(9) and (12) metre wooden poles shortlisted to foreign companies.

He contended that the decision by ZESCO to spend in excess of $107million on foreign companies when the ZPPA Act of 2020 provided that the first float of such a tender was to be afforded to citizen suppliers.

He said both the Zambia Manufacturers Association(ZMA) and the Timber Association of Zambia had affirmed that enough materials existed in the country to meet ZESCO’s wooden poles needs.

Mr. Mwamba had contended that both ZAFFICO and Copperbelt Forestry Company had capacity to supply the wooden poles and should be given preference in the supply tender as local suppliers.

But ZPPA said ZAFFICO had a running contract with ZESCO.

Mr. Mwamba thanked ZPPA for investigating his complaint but maintained that ZESCO’S decision to use uncompetitive methods for such a large sum of money remained a serious matter of concern.

He said he would wait for a report from the Anti-Corruption Commission on the matter before he can take the next course of action.