2013 poll equipment acquisition audit haunts Zec director

A DIRECTOR in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is set to lose her job after a forensic audit exposed her for awarding a tender to a company that had not been shortlisted by the election bodyin the run up o the 2013 polls, Zim Morning Post can reveal.

A communique signed by Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba accuses the director of logistics, Mavis Mudiwakure, of gross misconduct after she allegedly awarded Gladiator Trading a tender to supply 561 tents that were used during the 2013 harmonised elections, sidelining those companies shortlisted.

“You awarded a tender to Gladiator Trading for the purchase of 561 tents, contrary to the State Procurement Board (SPB)’s instructions which directed Zec to procure tents from James North or William Smith and Gorouck or Ocin Canvas P/L,” read part of the charge sheet.

The Zec director is also being accused of failing to adhere to lawful instructions.

 Mudiwakure was given fourteen days within which to respond to the allegations.

In response, Mudiwakure reportedly denied the allegations, further accusing Zec of not fully making available the said forensic audit.

Through her lawyers, Mudiwakure said she was never mandated to implement instructions from the SPB, adding that everything she did was above board.

“The instruction from the SPB, being a letter dated February 26, 2013, was not directed to her but to the chief elections officer. The instruction was not carbon-copied to her and neither was it brought to her attention by the recipients thereof.

“In view of the above, our client asserts that she was never mandated to implement the instruction by the SPB and neither was she involved in the implementation thereof,” read Mudiwakure’s response.

The latest development comes at a time this publication has reported that the electoral body was deferring implementation of the recommendations made in the forensic audit.

The forensic report is yet to be made public.

It is alleged that top officials within Zec had taken advantage of their seniority to award tenders to their close allies.

Some of the suppliers are also said to have overcharged the organisation, while others failed to deliver the equipment on time, hence prejudicing the electoral body of millions of dollars.