The leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon Brian Mundubile, has raised concerns over the single-sourced procurement of drugs worth $70 million from an Egyptian company by the Zambian government. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Mundubile accused the government of corruption and suggested that the procurement did not meet the criteria for single sourcing.
“The New Dawn Administration, which claimed to be fighting corruption, has made it a tradition to use single sourcing as the only mode of procurement,” Mundubile said. “The law is clear on single sourcing and what circumstances must exist before resorting to single sourcing as a mode of procurement. One of the circumstances is that a particular procurement should be an urgent one, while the other condition demands that the product being sourced be uniquely related to the company that was supplying.”
Mundubile went on to suggest that the government was using single sourcing for non-urgent procurements, such as fertiliser, and that this was evidence of corruption. He argued that the government should use an international open tender process for greater transparency and accountability in procurement.
“It is therefore, very important that for transparency and accountability purposes, Government should use an international open tender for such procurements,” he said. “In this particular case, the $70 million procurement of drugs from Egypt smells of corruption.”
Mundubile also called on the government to take note of the concerns of Zambians and to ensure that national resources are safeguarded against corruption.
“We must understand that this is not the first time that Government is procuring drugs,” he said. “There are traditional suppliers of drugs from different countries such as India, Switzerland, China and many others. Zambians will not sit back but begin to interrogate such procurements to safeguard national resources against corruption.”
The allegations raise concerns about the credibility of the government’s anti-corruption efforts under President Hichilema. The President has yet to respond to the allegations.