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Zimbabwe’s Firetrucks Tender Likened To Zambia’s 2017 Scandal

Local Government and Public Works Minister, July Moyo, has come under criticism for “imposing” on local government authorities a firetrucks’ deal with Belarus.

The deal, which Moyo said is a “government to government” arrangement, is set to gobble about US$55 million of the councils’ devolution funds. Each truck is priced at US$464 296.

ZimLive, a local publication was recently told that the deal’s ultimate beneficiary was President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Belarus associate Alexander Zingman.

Meanwhile, the deal has been likened to a 2017 deal that Zambia entered into five years ago. Forty-two (42) Firetrucks were procured by the state for an alleged cost of $42m which means each truck was priced at $1m.

Observers say while the companies that supplied the fire tenders were different, the modus operandi was the same in Zambia as it was in Zimbabwe as the cost was inflated in both cases.

In both cases, the deals attracted backlash from members of the public and government critics.

In Zambia, protesters thronged the Parliament building and were immediately arrested and charged with “disobeying lawful orders”. After being arrested for over 10 hours, they were released on bail.

In Zimbabwe, the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa and some analysts have condemned the deal.

The firetrucks deal is just bu one of the procurement scandals which attracted criticism. Only recently, the central government “imposed” on Harare a Pomona waste-energy deal with Geoginix BV, a Netherlands-based company. The US$240 million deal is racking up a daily bill of US$22 000 since being penned.

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