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Clerk of Parliament, Chokuda, Granted Bail

By Shingirai Vambe

The Clerk of Parliament, Kennedy Mugove Chokuda who was arrested yesterday by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on charges of criminal abuse of office relating to the topical laptop scandal, has been granted ZWL $100000 bail.

Chokuda appeared before Harare Magistrate yesterday and was remanded to May 31 2023.

Parliament of Zimbabwe earlier received public outcry for wanting to purchase laptops at a cost of US $9200 each and a desktop computers costing US $3500 each.

The Ministry of finance declined and refused to accept the procurement of these electronic devices following a tip-off by one of the bidders who lost the tender, Ari Goldstein.

Ari Goldstein-pic by Shingirai Vambe

Goldstein told the Portfolio Public Accounts Committee that he made the report to the Permanent Secretary of finance, George Guvamatanga.

Appearing before the same committee, Chokuda said when the procurement process was done, he was not in the office, attending to Parliament business in Victoria Falls, but available was the Parliament procurement department responsible for the specifics and requirements as far as the procurement process is concerned.

The Procurement Regulatory Authority (PRAZ) CEO, Clever Ruswa, earlier told the Post On Sunday that, what Parliament presented to the authority and what they then did, was different.

“The Standard Bidding Document issued to bidders had no signed declaration by the Accounting Officer of the procuring entity to the effect that procurement is based on neutral and fair technical requirements in violation of section 20 (2) (c) of the public procurement and disposal of Public Assets (PPDPA) General Regulation,” Ruswa said.

“The Accounting Officer specified that they required HP laptops on Lot 1, page 16-17 of the Standard Bidding Document, in violation of section 27 (2) of the PPDPA Act and again, the officers negotiated with the winning bidders in violation of section 52 (1) of the PPDPA Act,” added Ruswa.

During the Accounting Officers sensitisation program organised by PRAZ in Kadoma, Accounting Officers said most of the cases before the courts are merely administrative issues that requires organisations to put systems in place and do the process in the correct manner.

The new system and law put in place punitive measures to the PMU officers and not Accounting Officers.

Ruswa said the era for school boy errors is over.