DCEO probes MCC tender

DCEO probes MCC tender

MASERU – THE Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) has ordered the Maseru City Council (MCC) to stop the Mpilo Boulevard tender.
The anti-craft body is probing possible rot in the tender process.
The tender which is said to be worth M350 million has brewed a storm in the MCC.

The DCEO’s instruction was issued a few hours after the tender panel allegedly awarded the tender to a company that sources say was “hand-picked”.

A source said the company came second after the evaluation “and everybody is surprised why the number one company was not considered”.
The MCC spokesperson, ’Makatleho Mosala, told thepost yesterday that the results of Monday’s meeting of the tender panel will be announced when bidding companies are notified.
“As for now there is nothing we can say,” Mosala said.
“The grace period has to pass first.”

In a letter on Monday by the DCEO Director General, Mahlomola Manyokole, asked the Town Clerk Moeko Maboee to provide details of the tender. Manyokole said the DCEO wanted certified copies of invitation to tender, tender documents, tender opening minutes, evaluation report, tender board minutes and any other information relating to the tender process.

The documents were supposed to be submitted to the DCEO 4pm on Monday.
Manyokole told Maboee that the DCEO is empowered by the “Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act as amended to request information from any person for the purpose of administering the Act”.
“In terms of Section 6 of Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act No.5 of 1990 as amended by Act N0.8 of 2006, you are also directed to stop the tender process with immediate effect,” he said.

Manyokole also ordered Maboee to “stop the tender process with immediate effect and revoke any awarding of the tender if it has been awarded pending our advice on the ongoing investigation.”
A few weeks ago MCC Mayor, Mpho Moloi, used the courts to block the then Minister of Local Government Litšoane Simon Litšoane from disbanding the tender panel.

The tender panel was about recommend the company that had won the contract. Litšoane is now the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security and has been replaced by Mahala Molapo.
The panel is made up of seven councillors and two ex-officio members who are council employees.

Nine companies had tendered for the contract to upgrade the boulevard with links, flyover bridges, underpass, exclusive pedestrian bridges and signalisation.
The average price was M353 million and eight of the nine companies seem to have complied with the requirements as stipulated in the Maseru City Council’s tender notice on March 31.

Majara Molupe

 

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