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Sinyangwe approved contract wrongly, says witness

JIMMY CHIBUYE, Lusaka
A WITNESS has testified that a more than K80,000 contract for paving of the Cabinet Office car park awarded to Moonstone Investment Limited was given and approved by the wrong authority.
Former Cabinet Office procurement assistant David Mulasikwanda said Southern Province permanent secretary Annie Sinyangwe wrongly approved the contract.
Mr Mulasikwanda, who is now procurement assistant at the Ministry of Gender and Child Development, was testifying in a case in which Sinyangwe is charged with one count of wilful failure to comply with applicable procedure relating to procurement.
Sinyangwe is accused of “wilful failure to comply with applicable procedure” relating to procurement involving a K89,253.44 contract.
The matter is before magistrate Lameck Mwale.
“The contract was approved by the wrong authority and this authority was the controlling officer Sinyangwe,” he said.
Mr Mulasikwanda said the contract was approved before the procurement process was exhausted.
He said the value at which a permanent secretary can award a contract is K50,000, but the contract for the paving of Cabinet Office was higher.
Mr Mulasikwanda said the procurement committee was supposed to approve the contract due to the high amount involved.
Particulars of the offence are that Sinyangwe, on unknown dates but between January 1, 2012 and August 31, 2012 in Lusaka, wilfully failed to comply with the law and applicable procedure relating to procurement when she awarded a contract for paving of Cabinet Office car park.
The transaction is prejudicial to the interest of Cabinet Office, a public body under the government.
Trial continues.

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