The Harare City Council allegedly awarded a water treatment contract to MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s daughter and her husband without going to tender, it has emerged.
Mrs Vimbai Tsvangirai Java, her husband Apostle Batsirai Java and the MDC-T-dominated council are now being investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.
Information gathered by The Sunday Mail indicates that the couple owns Australian-registered company Vistma Technologies which reportedly has no experience in water treatment.
It was nevertheless hired to supply water treatment chemicals worth US$212 000 by then Harare Water Department Director Engineer Christopher Zvobgo between 2011 and 2013.
The matter was exposed as Zacc investigators combed through documents at Town House for close to four months.
The investigators established that Vistma Technologies got four city officials to “inspect” its facilities in Australia and paid for their airfare and stay on the sub-continent.
Sources told this publication that Eng Zvobgo was likely to face a charge of abuse of office, and suspect the council’s MDC-T orientation could have influenced the deal.
Eng Zvobgo and Zacc spokesperson Ms Phyllis Chikundura could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Apostle Java said his hands were clean, adding: “Please also note that as part of prospecting for business, we took a delegation of four City of Harare water department personnel to Australia at our cost on a tour of the plants for product efficacy. The delegation travelled on a written Cabinet authority as is the custom for such personnel.
“There was never a tender which was awarded to us at any given time. However, we got an order to bring in water treatment chemicals for pilot testing at the Morton Jaffray Water Works, which, upon passing the test, would qualify us to compete for tender.
“We were working under the auspices of a Full Council resolution which was granted prior to the write-up of the order. The hurdle of bringing in the chemicals for pilot testing got further exacerbated by the council’s refusal to guarantee payment for the test run on the fact that we were not yet approved suppliers but only considered as a company prospecting for business. It was made clear to us that council had no money and the trial run would be at our own risk without their banker’s commitment to underwright the project cost.”
A source, however, said: “Zacc investigators have been busy with the case involving Tsvangirai’s daughter, Vimbai, and her husband, Batsirai Java.
The official who authorised the deal was Engineer Zvobgo who is already facing other allegations over the Firle sewer plant project scandal.”
Zacc has been investigating the Harare City Council over several cases, one of which has seen former Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi, Eng Zvobgo, water waste manager Simon Muserere, former city treasurer Misheck Mubvumbi and four councillors arrested over a US$31 million sewage plant rehabilitation tender scandal.
It is alleged that in 2011, Dr Mahachi and Eng Zvobgo handpicked Energy Resources Africa Consortium ahead of Specgas whose charges were US$1,5 million cheaper.
Zacc investigators believe former MDC-T treasurer Mr Roy Bennet has close links with Erac head Mr Harold Crown.-Sundaymail