The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) has justified a controversial goat procurement deal involving a K1.3 billion contract to two suppliers who are expected to distribute goats in communities that were affected by cyclone Idai.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, September 22, DODMA announced its intention to award AWS trucking and ASIP & A investments contracts worth over K836 million and K462 million, respectively, under the post cyclone Idai and Kenneth Emergency Recovery and Resilient Project.
However, the deal has been received with mixed reactions from some quarters, with parliamentarian for Nsanje Lalanje Constituency, Gladys Ganda, questioning the rationale behind DODMA’s settling for highest bidders whom she said are charging K40,000.00 higher per goat leaving out lowest bidders who had pegged their prices between K20,000.00 and K30,000.00 per goat.
Ganda, who is also opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator, also wondered why DODMA would not have considered buying the goats directly from farmers through local councils an arrangement she said would have helped to reduce the cost for the goats and empower local farmers.
But DODMA Projects Manager Grenerd Mkwende told Nyasa Times that the department was just adhering to the African Development Bank’s tendering procurement rules which requires them to tender the contract nationally and that the successful bidder is identified not based on the lowest price being offered only, but also the ability of the bidder to satisfy all the tendering procedures.
Mkwende, however, said the contracts have not yet been offered but the department has only announced it’s intention to a ward the contracts to the two suppliers.
“As DODMA we are really surprised that the matter is being unnecessarily exaggerated. The reality of the matter is that we haven’t yet awarded the contract. What we have done is to advertise our intention to award. It’s a normal procurement process where by we are giving a chance to the bidders who have not been successful to come and find out where they went wrong for them to do better next time. That’s where we are now,” he said.
He said since the money is coming from the African Development bank, the department was just following normal procurement protocols, which requires an entity to tender a contract publicly.
“In procurement when it’s a tender we don’t just give it out just because one is the lowest bidder, we give the contract to the lowest evaluated bidder, meaning the one who has satisfied all the procurement processes”, said Mkwende.
Government has recently been advocating different policies, which seek to promote the growth of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs with local farmers being part of the targeted beneficiaries.