Wed, 01 Mar 2017 09:50:57 +0000
By OSCAR MALIPENGA
ZESCO Limited has settled its K3, 986, 112.00 debt for water charges owed to the Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) which was cited in the latest Auditor General’s report.
Permanent secretary in charge of water in Ministry of Energy and Water Development Bishop Edward Chomba told the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC)yesterday that uncollected water charges had accumulated at the time of transition from water board to the Water Resource Management Authority.
According to the Auditor General’s report at the time of audit in July 2016, the ZESCO debt had grown to K3, 986, 112.
Bishop Chomba said management acknowledged the findings of the uncollected water charges and the increasing ZESCO debt.
He explained that management had formulated a robust revenue collection strategy approved by WARMA board to ensure that all outstanding amounts were fully recovered.
“WARMA held meetings with ZESCO and the water utility companies from which debt settlement deeds have been agreed upon as part of the action to be undertaken before enforcing section (1), (2), and (3) of the Water Resource Management Act.
“Management has since received payments from ZESCO and other water utility companies,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bishop Chomba submitted before the committee that the procedure for single sourcing was adhered to contrary to the Auditor General’s report which suggested WARMA procured a motor vehicle at a cost of K830, 640 without obtaining a ‘no objection’ from ZPPA.
According to the provisions of the ZPPA Act No. 12 of 2008, a ‘no objection’ from ZPPA must be sought for any procurement by direct bidding above K10,000.
Responding to the query, Bishop Chomba clarified that authority for single sourcing was granted by ZPPA in their letter dated August 15, 2014, to Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) to direct bid to Toyota Zambia.
“In addition, management obtained all the necessary approvals from the ministry procurement committee to vary the earlier award of a Toyota Land Cruiser to a Toyota Fortuner.
“At the time payment was made, it was discovered that the vehicle was out of stock. Toyota Zambia advised that they would not have a similar motor vehicle until after six months,” he said.