Kazembe company wins Ministry of Sports tender inflated by US$258K
Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe’s company, Learbridge Investments (Learbridge) was awarded a tender to renovate the National Sports Stadium ahead of more reputable firms offering the service at lesser costs.
The company won a tender worth US$2,58 million for the supply and installation of a new and upgraded security systems at the stadium. But documents at hand show that the bid was inflated by a whooping US$258 000.
Initially, according to papers seen by this publication, Leabridge’s bid was placed at US$2 318 935,12, but the tender was awarded at US$2 577 334,01, leaving an unexplained US$258 398, 88 difference. Sports ministry permanent secretary Thokozile Chitepo, in a letter, dated 5 August 2021 confirmed the tender was granted to Learbridge.
The Ministry said Learbridge won a US$2 318 935,12 tender to “deliver, install and commission an Automated Turnstile System, Electronic Ticketing System, Venue Operation Control, Biometric Access Control and CCTV at the giant stadium”.
A NewZimbabwe.com source said about the tender: “Leabridge’s tender was to the tune of US$2 318 935,12 and yet it got awarded one at US$2 577 334,01. So, what happened to the lump sum of US$258 39,88?”. “The competing companies with a known capacity to run installations are Safeguard, Securico and Radio Solutions.”
Learbridge sales executive Bernard Marerwa said the company had not been informed of the any contract to renovate. “I cannot speak about that over the phone and we are yet to get communication that we will be the ones doing the job. This is a long process, and it is not definite,” Marerwa said.
Accordingly, Learbridge’s documents say Kazembe is a noble businessman who would not have closed his company upon joining politics.
“If KK is a shareholder, was he supposed to close the company when he joined politics? KK has always been known to be a successful businessman. Records show that he declared all his assets when he became an MP and when he became a minister. His assets are not a secret.
“Those who know him will tell you that he has always been a successful businessman. How many businesspeople are now eyeing political positions? So, if they become MPs or ministers should they close their businesses? Or should their businesses be discriminated from competing.
“For the record, Learbridge is a standalone company, private one for that matter with its own management,” the document read.
“There was an assertion on social media sites and other publications that a company called Learbridge believed to be linked to Kazembe Kazembe has won a tender to renovate the National Sports Stadium. The assertions portrayed KK is a selfish corrupt politician who used his influence as Home Affairs Minister to win tenders.
“Learbridge is a big company that has been around for 20 years doing exactly the same business, that of CCTV, Access Control, Rapid Response, and electronic surveillance in general. This is a company that has done bigger tenders for the Gvt, Banks, UN, Delta, Econet, Since 2008,” the document further reads.
“Learbridge has even done work for the Govt for the past 20 years. Why were people not talking about it? In 2008 it won tenders to do Barclays Bank Zimbabwe country wide, CBZ countrywide, Econet countrywide. The company was formed in 2002.
“In 2012 it won the Suprema best distributor award for being the lead distributor in Southern Africa. Learbridge has been a super brand in electronic security for almost two decades. It has a solid track record.”
Meanwhile, losing bidders include high profile security companies; Securico, Safeguard, Radio Solutions, Sonic Signals, AC Controls, Setworth, Slow Grand Engineering, Suvkin Enteprise and Sports Health Centre.
Source | Nehanda Radio
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