The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works says the procurement of fire tenders for all local authorities from Belarus using devolution funds is above board.
The ministry said the Government conducted proper consultations with concerned stakeholders before procuring the fire tenders.
Acting secretary in the Ministry, Emmanuel Ngwarati, said the cost of each fire tender of US$464 296 was cheap compared to regional prices which are in the range of US$500 000 and above. Ngwarati said:
Request for model equipment, whose specifications are tailor-made to suit the local terrain, were made to local authorities.
On approval from stakeholders, the Government facilitated the purchase and negotiated for staggered payment terms.
Earlier this week, a letter written by the Ministry’s permanent secretary Zvinechimwe Churu revealing the fire tenders deal was leaked to the media.
In the letter, Churu directed local authorities to set aside funds to pay for fire tenders the Ministry is buying from Belarus. The letter read in part:
The funds to procure the equipment will be deducted from the 2022 Devolution allocations and will be done over a period of twelve months starting March 2022. the cost of each fire tender is USD464,296.
It is therefore advisable for local authorities to reprioritise the Devolution funds to accommodate the cost of the fire tenders.