gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); ZEC bought toilets and vests worth US$9 million 6 days before election – they never arrived – The Zimbabwe Mail

ZEC bought toilets and vests worth US$9 million 6 days before election – they never arrived

Spread the love

HARARE – Corruption allegations engulfing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) have deepened after ZimLive was shown evidence that the elections body ordered 2,000 non-flushable toilets on the eve of the August 2023 elections at a cost of US$7.6 million.

The toilets, priced at an astronomical US$3,800 per unit when they retail for about US$300 in South Africa, were only delivered in April this year – eight months after the election.

Questions will also be asked of the finance ministry’s chief paymaster, permanent secretary George Guvamatanga, who okayed the payment on September 7, two weeks after the election had been held.

At the heart of the alleged corruption in ZEC’s 2023 election procurement is a South African company, Ren-Form CC, which ZimLive now understands was paid over US$100 million, more than double the US$40 million it was previously thought to have received in several contracts.

 

 

Ren-Form CC was awarded the contracts without a public tender. Legal documents suggest Ren-Form CC was a vehicle used by controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo and associates Mike Chimombe, Moses Mpofu and Scott Sakupwanya to siphon millions of dollars from the public purse through inflating invoices. Ren-Form transferred millions of dollars in “commission” to accounts linked to the four business associates. The money was used to purchase luxury cars and fund lavish lifestyles.

Well before Ren-Form CC was appointed, ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba met the company’s executives in the company of Chivayo, Chimombe and Mpofu, according to documents which emerged after a fallout between the businessmen. A string of leaked voice notes that Chivayo sent to his business associates also suggest Chigumba, Guvamatanga, CIO director general Isaac Moyo and chief cabinet secretary Martin Rushwaya have all been paid bribes for facilitating the corrupt contracts or expediting payments. They all deny wrongdoing.

ZEC had secured most election materials by August 17, 2023. But on that day, the elections body inexplicably decided on a new order for 125,000 reflective vests and 2,000 non-flushable portable toilets to be used during the election.

The bill for the vests, at US$13.50 each, came to US$1,687,500 while the toilets set the taxpayer back by US$7.6 million, according to invoice number 1557-2 sent to ZEC by Ren Form CC. Justice Chigumba was listed as the contact person on the invoice.

Smoking gun … Ren-Form CC’s invoice to ZEC on election eve

The invoice also billed ZEC for an outstanding amount for “security paper” for US$44,511.79 and US$623,000 in “extra charges for air charter to deliver V11 Light Boxes due to late payment and to meet deadline.”

The total on the invoice came to US$9,955,011.79.

ZimLive understands none of the items on the order had been delivered when Zimbabweans went to the polls on August 23. ZEC did nothing to cancel the order, and the finance ministry, on September 7, 2023, settled the full invoice by instructing its bankers CBZ to debit treasury’s account number 107-21537300105 and pay Ren-Form CC’s Standard Bank account number 002742659 the full amount of US$9,955,011.79.

Authorisation … Letter from the finance ministry instructing CBZ to pay more than US$9 million to Ren-Form CC for goods that were not delivered

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) says it is investigating ZEC’s election procurement and the three businessmen Chivayo, Mpofu and Chimombe for money laundering.

Source: ZimLive