…85 percent of bids for public works in Zambia came from locals but they are sidelined
By MOSES SINJWALA
IT is mockery for the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to allege that most local contractor do not bid for tenders, Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors president Henry Ngulube has said.
And National Association for Medium and Small-Scale Contractors president Mutale Mpepo said 85 percent of bids for public works in Zambia came from the locals.
Mr Ngulube said it was a lame excuse for ZPPA to accuse local contractors of not participating in bids for tenders mostly awarded to foreigners.
He charged that the bidding process lacked transparency leading to the sidelining of locals.
He said in an interview that local contractors were getting frustrated because despite bidding for tenders, foreign contractors were instead awarded.
Mr Ngulube said corruption was also at place because people were twisting the Nation Construction Council (NCC) Act and the Citizen’s Empowerment (CE) Act to suit their needs.
He explained that CE Act stated that a local contractor or company was defined as one in which major shareholders were indigenous Zambian, whereas the NCC Act definition was that any company having been registered in the country was a local contractor.
And Mr Mpepo said Zambian contractors and suppliers were the majority of bidders for tenders as compared to a small percent of foreigners.
He alleged that foreign contractors were preferred because they come with huge sums of money to bribe people in charge of the tenders.
Mr Mpepo said the claims were not true because 85 percent of bids came from local contractors and suppliers.
Meanwhile, Horizon Contractors Limited Proprietor, Winston Siame, said local contractors were mostly undermined by foreign contractor because there was no proper framework to support the locals.
“For instance we had a joint bid for the contraction of clinics with a foreign contractor called jaguar in 2015, despite our company having the capacity to carry out the works, the contract was given to Jaguar,” he said.