Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Foreign affairs chief purchasing officer testifies in Nevers' abuse case
By Namatama Mundia
Wed 05 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

A WITNESS yesterday told the Lusaka Magistrates' Court that the Zambian mission in Canada paid over CAD$4, 900 to Restcon Construction Services for electrical works at the mission without a bank guarantee.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs chief purchasing and supplies officer Boyd Mwango said the mission under the leadership of Nevers Mumba paid CAD$4,975 which was 50 per cent as advance payment without surety from the bank.

Mwango was testifying in a case in which Mumba, who is former high commissioner to Canada, is charged with abuse of authority of office and mismanagement of public funds involving over CAD$ 156, 000.

"I noticed that 50 per cent amounting to CAD$4, 975 was already paid as advance payment to Restcon and there was no surety from the bank to guarantee this amount," he said. "I found it a bit weird that the amount was paid without guarantee because in case there was something wrong with the contract, we could not claim the 50 per cent paid to Restcon as advance."

Mwango said the mission would not have paid the 50 per cent advance if it had followed the advice to use the tender documents and advertised the works.

He said the advance was supposed to be paid to Restcon after receiving sureties from the bank as guarantees.

Mwango said the tender documents had a provision under the general conditions of the contract Section 51 which stipulates how the advance payments should be paid.

He also said the quotations for the purchasing and fitting of the carpets at the mission were not supposed to be addressed to Mumba's wife, Florence because she was not a government employee.

Mwango said all correspondence regarding the mission was supposed to be addressed to former first secretary for political and administration Hilda Musunsa.

Hearing continues today.

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