Sunday, September 20, 2020

Multi million pula construction tender set aside

Court of Appeal judges have ordered that a tender awarded to Unik Construction and Engineering, amounting to P11 million, for the renovation of Francistown Teachers College be set aside, that the Attorney General reevaluate the tender and make recommendations to the Public Procurement and Assert Disposal Board and that the AG and PPADB pay the costs of both applications to be brought before the Courts by Buildswana jointly.

They also ordered that the AG should compensate PPADB as it had incurred establishment costs in relation to the award of the tender to it by the AG.
The case’s background is that tenders were sent out for the renovations of FCE a few years ago.

At the end of the tendering process, Buildswana Construction Company, won the tender but the tender was finally awarded to Unik Construction Engineering.

This influenced Buildswana Construction Company to take the matter to Court on grounds that the award of the tender to Unik Construction Company was influenced by corruption.

The Managing Director of Buildswana Construction, in affidavits he presented in Court, said that at some stage after he had been advised that his company had won the tender, he had been phoned continuously by a lady who identified herself as Jennifer and who requested that they should meet and that after he had failed to meet her, he was told that the tender had been mysteriously awarded to Unik Construction Company.
All these instances, he submitted in his affidavits, showed there was corruption in the awarding of the tender.

Lobatse High Court judge, Maruping Dibotelo, in his judgment, concurred with the submissions and ruled that the tender be set aside as requested by the Buildswana Construction Company .
Unik Construction Company then took the matter to the Court of Appeal, submitting, amongst other things, that Unik Construction Company was supposed to win the tender as their tender was the lowest. Their application resulted in the present order .

The person refereed to as Jennifer in the applications has since turned up to be a former employee of the Department of Buildings and her full name is Jennifer Mututa, a Kenyan citizen.
Mututa has since been relieved from her duties in the Department and is currently awaiting trial for corruption.

Charges against her are that she had altered the tender to favour Unik Construction Company.
Her case is scheduled to be heard at the end of February.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.