Magerwa under investigation over tender fraud

The Ombudsman’s office is carrying out investigations into major tender scandals that surrounded the construction of three warehouses in Magerwa, Rwanda bonded warehouses, saying that there were loopholes like lack of transparency and unfair competition in the tendering process.
One of MAGERWA’s warehouses.
One of MAGERWA’s warehouses.

The Ombudsman’s office is carrying out investigations into major tender scandals that surrounded the construction of three warehouses in Magerwa, Rwanda bonded warehouses, saying that there were loopholes like lack of transparency and unfair competition in the tendering process.

The tenders that have raised eyebrows in the office of the Ombudsman include the construction of two Rwf1.3 billion Magerwa warehouses in Rusizi district, Western Province and one warehouse facility at Kanombe international airport.

Available information about the tender project meant to construct warehouses in Rusizi indicate that an entrepreneur presented a cheap price to win the tender but later the price was inflated by Rwf60 million with insufficient reasons.

The same mess was repeated by the same entrepreneur in the tender to construct Magerwa’s warehouse at Kanombe airport that was raised by Rwf40 million from the original price.

Séraphin Rumaziminsi Ntagwabira Director of Fighting Corruption and Injustice unit in the office of the Ombudsman told Business Times in an interview that investigations are ongoing as the entrepreneurs involved in the suspected tenders are expected in his office next week for interrogations.

“The operational audit identified some mismanagement and bending of tender rules which might involve the client (Magerwa) for office abuse or the entrepreneur who won the tender.

But we don’t have enough evidence to implicate anyone,” he said.

Operational audit looks into procurement systems, accountability, good governance and transparency in all government institutions annually.

The Operations Report done by the Ombudsman’s to strengthen good governance and transparency created suspicion that prompted investigation into the operations of Magerwa.

It’s said that after the investigations Director of Technical Department in Magerwa asked for a two-day leave and thereafter sent a scanned resignation letter through his wife.

An anonymous source in Magerwa said that the letter was rejected on grounds that the law requires any person resigning to handover office and the related documents.

Magerwa is also faced with another complex issue which involves two consulting firms that presented Curriculum Vitae from similar engineers to win a tender for repairing its dilapidated packing slot.

The scandal has delayed the move to repair the packing yard and Magerwa is considering a re –advertisement.

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