By LUCY PHIRI
A manager for contracts and procurement audit at the Ministry of Health has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Court that former Health Permanent Secretary Dr Kennedy Malama and eight others did not stick to procurement guidelines during the purchase of 50 ambulances.
Malama, 53, is charged with former Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Administration Caroline Kakulubelwa Mulalelo.
Others charged with them are Dr. Francis Bwalya, 55, Dr. Gardener Syakantu, Dr. Muzaza Nthele, 48, of house number 2801 Meanwood Ndeke, Rebecca Ndhlovu, 60, a retiree and farmer of Zambia Airways area, Dr. Maximillian Bweupe, 51, and Wilson Lungu, 37, a chief procurement officer under the Ministry of Mines.
The nine are charged for allegedly failing to stick to procurement guidelines during the purchasing of 50 ambulances and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Mr Gilbert Mbewe testified that during the interview with officers from Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), he was shown a letter from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health regarding the procurement of ambulances which was signed by Dr Malama.
He said the officers enquired about the procedure regarding the termination of a contract which was between the Ministry of Health and Savenda for the supply and delivery of 50 ambulances to the ministry of Health.
“The letter was addressed to Savenda signed by Dr Malama, a termination of such a contract was supposed to be done by the procurement committee. All procurement should be done by open bidding in which all eligible bidders are invited to participate. The bidding should be done through publication of a tender notice in the newspaper of wide circulation, Mr Mbewe testified.
Mr Mbewe narrated that the document for the supply of 50 ambulances was issued by the Ministry of Health.
He told magistrate Sanford Ngobola that the correct procedure in the procurement of the ambulances was not followed.
“When I examined the document, I noted that under the instructions bidders act, the ministry had a false qualification of the recommended bidder under the delivery of 50 ambulances. But when I checked, the evaluation report did not indicate whether the qualification was done,” Mr Mbewe said.