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Harare City Officials Attempt to Spend US$2 Million on 500 Desktops

Harare City Council officials have been implicated in a procurement scandal involving the purchase of 500 desktop computers at an exorbitant price of US$4,000 each, well above the market rate of approximately US$700. The total budget allocated for this purchase amounts to a staggering US$2 million.

According to reports, the tender process conducted earlier this year saw procurement officials favoring a supplier that quoted prices ranging from US$3,000 to US$4,000 per desktop, while rejecting lower-priced offers. However, the deal was blocked following intervention from Harare’s town clerk, Engineer Hosiah Chisango, who instructed the procurement team to revisit the market for better options.

Mayor Jacob Mafume condemned the attempted purchase, labeling it as criminal and vowing to prevent such misconduct. Nevertheless, discord has erupted within the City Council, with some officials expressing frustration over the deal’s cancellation.

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An insider from the procurement department revealed that the inflated prices for the desktops were just the tip of the iceberg, suggesting widespread corruption within the council. This sentiment was echoed by Harare Residents Trust director, Mr. Precious Shumba, who described the local authority as a breeding ground for corruption, where perpetrators operate with impunity.

Critics highlighted the irony of promptly paying inflated prices to companies involved in corrupt deals, only to be left empty-handed due to non-delivery of promised goods and services, resulting in significant financial losses for the council.

Reuben Akili of the Combined Harare City Residents Association expressed concern over the council’s misplaced priorities, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability in conducting business, especially during a time when essential services are severely lacking.

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