Calls for a forensic audit into Parliament procurement processes

THE Auditor General’s office has been urged to launch a forensic audit into the Parliament of Zimbabwe’s procurement of goods and services after it was caught up in a corrupt laptop purchase deal.

Anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency Zimbabwe International (TIZ) chairperson Isheanesu Chirisa said the laptop saga was necessary to unmask corruption in public procurement processes.

“The Office of the Auditor General should complement these efforts by launching a forensic audit of the Parliament of Zimbabwe in the procurement of goods and services in 2021 and 2022, given the apparent deficiencies in the procurement process,” Chirisa said in a statement.

“This forensic audit will undoubtedly establish the extent of corruption in the institution and flag out corruption risks in public procurement.”

Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda on Saturday issued a statement admitting a tender for the supply of 173 overpriced laptops valued at US$9, 200 each to Parliament.

Chokuda blamed responsible staffers for the ‘corrupt deal’, but did not say what measures were going to be taken against the alleged culprits.

Chirisa said this was worrying as the TIZ chairperson also called for a full public disclosure on the laptop deal.

“TIZ urges the Parliament of Zimbabwe to consider this as a form of financial misconduct in line with Section 85 (1) (b) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Proper disciplinary procedures should therefore be followed consistent with Sections 87 and 88 of the PFMA,’’ Chirisa said.

“Publishing these details will not only give the public an opportunity to know the specific individuals who are receiving personal gain from such despicable acts of corruption but also enable local businesses to remove them and their associated entities from their suppliers’ lists. The publication will also certainly act as a deterrent mechanism.”

According to leaked official communication, Blinart Investments P/L won the tender to supply Parliament with 173 laptop computers for a total of US$1,602,755.77, translating to US$9200 per gadget.

Another company, Mid-End Computers and Hardware won a tender to supply 79 desktop computers to parliament, pricing its gadgets at above US$3,000 for a single desktop.

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