By Alois Vinga
FINANCE Minister, Mthuli Ncube has upped the anti- inflated- tender scams threatening to take disciplinary measures on any of the government officials found on the wrong side of facilitating such fraudulent deals.
The remarks come shortly after treasury turned down another tender submitted by parliament which pegged the price of one laptop at US$9 600 whilst in other spheres a 2kg pack of chicken was claimed to be worth US$30 when market prices are a maximum US$6 for the same.
In a bid to block such speculative behaviour, the government has implemented a raft of measures aimed at weeding out the errant economic practices.
To this end processing of speculative tenders has been placed on halt with some contracts being cancelled forthwith.
Speaking to the media Monday, Ncube said tight disciplinary measures will be taken to conserve the prevailing exchange rate stability.
“In light of the above Government started enforcing measures to enhance economic stability by suspending all inflated payments and ordering an audit exercise to revalidate all running contracts and renegotiate prices with various suppliers.
“As expected there has been resistance to this exercise but we have seen Accounting Officers and progressive suppliers have seen the merit of this exercise and there is now a reasonably high level of compliance,” he said.
Contrary to unconfirmed reports alleging that the government had ceased to make any payments to contractors, Ncube said a total ZW$184 billion had been paid to well scrutinised suppliers.
“The government of Zimbabwe remains committed to maintaining macro-economic stability and the elimination of harmful and destabilizing arbitrage conditions that have pervaded the economy at the expense of the generality of citizens,” he said.
He said such measures have resulted in huge gains which have seen the rapid correction in the market with the official exchange rates on the auction and the WBWS exchange rates in the banks converging between ZWL605/ 1 USD to ZWL660 /1USD.
“This correction has been supported by a significant and observed retreat of the unofficial exchange rates to levels below ZWL700/1 USD,” said Ncube.
The treasury boss vowed to be very strict in enforcing measures to enhance economic stability as he maintained that the value for money process will now result in punitive measures being taken against any government officials involved in the malpractices.