Anti-Corruption Bureau clears ministry in K1.6 billion ambulance deal
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has cleared the K1.6 billion procurement deal of ambulances between the Ministry of Health and Zambian company Grandview International of Lusaka and has since allowed the ministry to proceed with the procurement process.
In September 2020, ACB officials suspended the procurement of ambulances and instituted investigations following a complaint from Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), which suspected flaws in the procurement process.
HRDC also questioned the awarding of the contract the Zambian company despite having lowest bidders of the contract such as Toyota Malawi.
In her response to a questionnaire, ACB Principal Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala said investigations were concluded and consent to deal with the contract was served on Ministry of Health officials.
“The investigations were concluded and [we] found out that they followed the law in the procurement process and the lowest evaluated bidder was awarded. A consent to deal with the contract was served on Ministry of Health,” she said
Grandview International of Lusaka, Zambia, was awarded to supply 35 Land Cruiser ambulances at a contract price of $63,000 each.
According to the notice of intention to award, dated September 10 2020, Toyota Malawi charged $47,800 for each Toyota Land Cruiser (translating to about K1.2 billion), Nissan Malawi charged $56,224.61 for each Nissan Patrol (about K1.5 billion) and Mike Appel & Gatto charged $61,384 (about K1.6 billion) per Land Cruiser.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango confirmed the clearance and said they were now engaging the contractor to proceed with the agreement.
HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence said, while they were yet to see the report, they would only agree to the report if there would be value for money.
“We have not seen the actual report; we hope their report is doing justice, in terms of value for money. For us, what is important is to make sure that the taxpayer is always the winner. We will only agree if we see that in the report. Clearing procurement is something else and value for money is another thing,” he said
HRDC reported the matter to ACB through a whistle-blower initiative that enabled them to report several cases for investigations.