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Vinnid was lowest bidder for catering services – Ex-ZLDC manager

FORMER Zambia Law Development Commission finance and administrative manager Faith Mporokoso yesterday told the court that the Commission chose Vinnid Innovations to provide catering services for the gender-based violence Fast Track Court launch because it was the lowest bidder.

Mporokoso was testifying in a case in which ZLDC director Hope Chanda is appearing in court for two counts of corrupt acquisition of public services. It is alleged in the first count that Chanda between June 1, 2016 and June 31, 2017 in Lusaka willfully failed to comply with laid down procedure by awarding a contract in the sum of K60,000 to Chipo Mushota Nkhata for consultancy work in the Law Reform Audit (constitutional conformity).

The matter or transaction involved the ZLDC, a public body.

In count two, allegations are that Chanda between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2016 willfully failed to comply with laid down procedure by awarding a contract in the sum of K61,306 to Vinnid Innovations to provide catering services for the Gender-based Violence Fast Courts launch, a matter or transaction which involved the ZLDC.

Testifying before principal resident magistrate Greenwell Malumani, Mporokoso said Vinnid Innovations was selected to provide catering services because it was the lowest bidder. Mporokoso said three quotations were collected by ZLDC but no evaluation was done, adding that a standard rate was used to select the bidder.

She said the ZLDC offices were visited by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) officers in May 2017 to inquire how the procurement of services was done concerning the awarding of a contract for catering services and consultancy work. Mporokoso said she told the officers that three quotations were gotten to enable the Commission choose the company to award the contracts after she prepared a covering letter which she signed on behalf of Chanda.

The witness said the three quotations were attached to a cover letter and were forwarded to the United Nations Development Programme, requesting it to make direct payment to Vinnid Innovations. Mporokoso said both UNDP and ZLDC participated in the procurement process even though the latter sourced the three quotations. She however, said the three quotations were not evaluated although Charles Minyoi, the administrative officer, indicated on a letter that Vinnid was the lowest bidder.

When cross examined, Mporokoso said there was nothing wrong with signing the letter to UNDP on behalf of Chanda as she was out of office at the time they needed to take the letter.

The witness further said she did not authorise the payment to Vinnid but that she signed on behalf of Chanda.

Hearing continues.

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