Ex-transport secretary accused of fraudulently awarding railway tender to Mota Engil


Former Secretary for Transport, Patrick Zimpita was arrested on Tuesday by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly instructing a fellow officer to fraudulently declare Mota Engil the successful bidder of Marka-Bangula railway.

According to a statement from ACB, signed by its spokesperson, Egrita Ndala, Zimpita was arrested on Tuesday 9th May, 2023 following some investigations on the matter.

The bureau says on 3rd September 2021, received a complaint alleging that the process which was followed to declare Mota Engil as a successful bidder for a tender to design, rehabilitate and upgrade the Marka to Bangula railway section was questionable.

ACB reports that a ‘No Objection’ was issued without the knowledge of Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA).

Zimpita is accused of abuse of office by instructing Michael Mbewe to draft and advertise notification of intention to award a contract to Mota Engil without the approval of Government Contracts Unit.

“On 9th May 2023, the Anti- Corruption Bureau has arrested Patrick Zimpita, who is reasonably suspected of having committed the offence of misuse of public office contrary to section 25B (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act and neglect of official duty contrary to section 121 of the Penal Code.

“Mr. Zimpita will be taken to Court after the Bureau has recorded a caution statement,” reads part of ACB press statement.

Meanwhile, Zimpita has been released on bail after he was ordered to produce a cash bond of K300 000, one surety bonded at K300 000, surrender his travel documents and report to ACB offices every fortnight on Mondays.

On 19th April this year, ACB arrested Chief Procurement Officer in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Michael Mbewe who is currently on bail for the similar offence.

Mbewe is the one accused of publishing notification of intention to fraudulently award a contract to Mota Engil on the Marka-Bangula railway project.

Meanwhile, the project was awarded to China Railway 20th Group which won the tender after ACB ordered a re–tender following the said corruption allegations.

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