Clerk of Parliament arrested over US$9k per laptop tender scandal

Kennedy Chokuda
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HARARE – Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Mugove Chokuda has been arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for granting a tender for the purchase of laptops which cost over US$9,000 each.

The anti-graft body confirmed Chokuda’s arrest on Thursday for criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.

Chokuda came under fire last year when he awarded a tender to privately owned Blinart Investments to supply 173 laptops to parliament with each gadget quoted at US$9,264.49.

The tender was cancelled after the Finance Ministry refused to process payment for the exorbitantly priced gadgets.

The awarding of the tender to Blinart Investments was done in spite of that other competing companies had placed bids with quotations which had reasonably priced laptops.

The revelations sparked public outrage and spotlighted on massive abuse of tender processes by some corrupt government officials working in cahoots with tenderpreneurs.

Blinart’s managing director, Elizabeth Muchenje, has since appeared before MPs to explain how the company levied US$9,264.49 per laptop to parliament.

Addressing the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) committee, Muchenje said the laptop prices reached a price of US$9,264.49 each because they were high-end laptops with seven other accessories per laptop.

Muchenje said there was the HP Spectra 32GB laptop, Laptop Stand, Laptop Backup, HDMI Adapter, USB Adapter, Wireless Mouse HP, Laptop pouch, and Microsoft Professional Office 2019.