By Court and Crime Reporter
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has arrested Norton Town Council Director of Finance Stephen Tendaupenyu for flouting procurement procedures in the acquisition of roller compactors for the local authority.
The arrest of Tendaupenyu follows a compliance spot check carried out by ZACC’s Compliance Unit as part of the Commission’s intensification of prevention of corruption programmes.
Other local authorities where spot checks have been undertaken and unearthed serious malpractices include Mutoko RDC and Umguza RDC.
In both councils, senior officials have either been arrested or suspended to allow for investigations. In the latest case, it is alleged that in 2017 Norton Town Council wanted to procure one roller compactor and it flighted tender number NOR/ROLL-01/2017 for the supply and delivery of a 12-tonne roller compactor.
Six companies responded to the tender after which an evaluation committee was selected to do an assessment of the companies’ capacity to supply the roller compactor.
The committee observed that one of the companies, Podilla Ventures did not have a workshop at the time of the visit and was scored the lowest in terms of historical performance of the equipment offered.
However, on 25 August 2017 an adjudication process was done and Podilla Ventures won the tender but no contract or memorandum of agreement was signed.
A draft contract was prepared with the terms and conditions that Norton Town Council was supposed to pay upon delivery of the roller compactors.
On 25 September 2017 a payment voucher for USD$155 000-00 was raised for payment of two XCMG roller compactors.
The voucher was not approved by the Town Secretary and neither was any contract signed between Norton Town Council and Podilla Ventures. T
he two roller compactors have not yet been delivered by Podilla Ventures.
Tendaupenyu appeared in court on 5 August 2021 at Norton Magistrate Court and was granted bail under the following conditions.
• To deposit $30 000 with clerk of court
• To deposit passport with clerk of court
• To report once every two weeks on a Friday at Norton Police
• Not to interfere with state witnesses
• To reside at given address until the matter has been finalised
• Next remand date 27 August 2021