National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) head of corporate affairs Cephas Sinyangwe says any aggrieved party questioning the awarding of the controversial tender to AVIC International for the construction of the Twin Palm River View Park should appeal using the laid down procedure.
This is in relation to a matter where the NAPSA evaluation committee for the named construction site recommended the awarding of a construction tender to AVIC at the “corrected bid sum of US $25,707,782.26” against the contractor’s offer to do the work at the bid sum of US $21.6 million.
The committee stated that the extra US $4 million, which was added to the bidding price, was meant to cater for contingencies and cost escalation as well as Value Added Tax (VAT).
The development triggered public anxiety, forcing ADD president Charles Milupi to demand answers from NAPSA, arguing that it was not for the evaluation committee to put in contingencies as contingencies were included by contractors in the bidding cost.
But in reaction to the calls, Sinyangwe rubbished the story and advised the public to ignore it, saying that it was misleading.
“The Authority is aware of a story making rounds in the media regarding the tender for construction of infrastructure at River View Park in Lusaka. We wish to clarify that the story is misleading and should, therefore, be ignored. The Authority at all times follows the due public procurement process in line with the Public Procurement Act, regulations and guidelines under Zambia Public Procurement Authority. Should there be any aggrieved party in this process or have any matter to raise, they should follow the laid down appeals procedure in accordance with the Public Procurement Act Number 12 of 2018 and the Public Procurement Regulation SI 63 of 201,” Sinyangwe stated in a statement.
But when called to explain, which part of the story was misleading, Sinyangwe refused to comment further.
“Maybe that question you are asking me, you should have actually asked me before you published the story! Don’t you think that would have been the best way to do the story? Meanwhile, you can use that statement if you wish [but] for us, that’s our official position. I can’t answer that question right now. Use the official statement that we have given you if you wish to use it. If you don’t want to use it, that’s okay, but that is the official position,” said Sinyangwe.