CIVIC society organisations (CSOs) have raised concern over the $320 000 Plumtree road fencing tender process, which they think was not transparent after villagers complained of a shoddy job.
BY SILAS NKALA
This comes as the balancing poles of the fence are already collapsing only two years after they were installed.
The fencing job began after the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) was in August 2017 tasked to erect a perimeter fence on either side of the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road to prevent accidents caused by wild animals and stray cattle.
TSCZ spokesperson Tatenda Chinoda said the fence, which is supposed to stretch for 106km, was completed in December 2017.
However, it has already fallen resulting in wild animals posing a danger to motorists.
Former Bulilima East legislator, Norman Mpofu said he suspected the fencing tender was corruptly awarded.
“That fence was erected two years ago to stop cattle getting on the road but it is already collapsing.
“The poles used are of poor quality so much that within a year they were already rotten. Whoever was offered that tender robbed the nation big time,” Mpofu said.
“This is corruption of the highest order. Instead of sourcing properly treated poles, fake and cheap gum poles were used.
“What is more worrying is that our national leaders do not see anything wrong with this,” he said.
Church and Civic Society Joint Forum (CCJF) national chairman Anglistone Sibanda said the country faced a serious problem with its opaque systems when it comes to issuance of tenders.
“This is the problem that we face when we have opaque systems where tenders are given to kith and kin.
“This is why we have the Wicknell Chivayo scandal.
“Why not contract locals?
“This is a culture that must end and devolution of power needs to be implemented.
“These people are messing us up,” Sibanda said.
Habakkuk Trust chief executive officer, Dumisani Nkomo said: “This is the tip of the iceberg.
“Due diligence must be practised in these processes to ensure the right service providers are identified.”
Human rights activist and National Consumer Rights Association co-ordinator Effie Ncube said: “Tender and procurement corruption in Zimbabwe is a scourge that is destroying the country.
“Tenders are corruptly parcelled out to friends and relatives or to those willing and ready to pay kickbacks.
“The scandals are widespread and systemic in all government departments.”
Chinoda said he could not immediately comment as he was away in Mutare.