Norton lawmaker, Temba Mliswa, has reported Local Government Public Works and National Housing Minister, July Moyo, to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) over a corrupt US$9 million water pumps tender.
Moyo has been implicated in the corrupt awarding of the lucrative deal to his alleged crony, businessman Paul Kruger, to supply water pumps to the City of Harare.
The multi-million-dollar contract was awarded to Petricho Irrigation, which was represented by Paul Kruger in Zimbabwe, allegedly without going to tender.
Treasury released the funds for the deal at the height of Harare’s crippling water crisis in October 2020 after Moyo presented a paper in cabinet asking the government to intervene.
This resulted in a cabinet resolution instructing Treasury to urgently release US$9.3 million to procure critical equipment for repairing the Morton Jaffray Water Works plant, which had been shut down.
Mliswa argues that Moyo and Kruger need to be subjected to a forensic probe to establish the correctness of the information presented to the cabinet, the pricing of the pumps, as well as the latter’s professional competencies regarding the scope of works. Mliswa said in a letter to ZACC chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo, dated March 15, 2022:
Over the past few months, it has come to my attention that the Minister of Local Government was involved in a massive corruption scandal involving the purchase of pumps at Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant.
Sometime in 2019, the minister hatched a plan to fleece public funds through a proxy company called Agrico. Minister Moyo personally appointed one Paul Kruger as a consultant on water, ostensibly to solve Harare’s perennial water shortages and Paul Kruger went on to recommend that the water shortages in Harare could be easily solved by buying new water pumps.
Mliswa further alleged that Minister Moyo went with this recommendation to the cabinet and presented an urgent motion urging the cabinet to
(i) grant Cabinet Authority for a special waiver so that the pumps could be bought without going through the normal tendering process.
(ii) endorse the urgent release of $9.3 million from Treasury for the purchase of the pumps based on Paul Kruger’s recommendations.
He claims Minister Moyo misled the Cabinet by arguing:
1). that the project was urgent and was supposed to be completed in two months.
2). it was necessary to purchase these pumps because there was a need to pump less polluted water from Lake Manyame, which would result in the reduction of aluminium sulphate usage by 25%, therefore, this would substantially reduce the water treatment chemicals bill.
However, Paul Kruger’s company only handed over the site last week (over 2 years since the money was released to his company).
Mliswa who argues that Kruger was in a clear conflict of interest where he acted as both the consultant and contractor, wants:
a). to know how Paul Kruger arrived at a figure of €9.3 million for the five (5) pumps when similar-sized pumps cost just around US$2 million.
b). ZACC to establish if the council was now using 25% less aluminium sulphate as purported in water treatment, whether the water treatment chemicals bill had been reduced, and if Harare’s water crisis was resolved.