KIGALI - Two officials from the secretariat of Travaux d’Interêts Générales (TIG) have been accused of committing tendering irregularities involving Frw43 million.
Sources within the community service office, TIG, allege that retired Colonel. Charles Musitu and Anastase Nabayire, both assistant TIG executive secretaries, awarded a tender to businessman Prosper Muhirwa, in contravention to the law.
They are accused of both circumventing the normal tendering process and inflating the value of the tender in question.
The tender which was awarded on January 21 was for the supply of foodstuff for prisoners who were serving community service sentences at Mugina Camp in Kamonyi District, Southern Province.
The tender, which was awarded in the absence of then TIG executive secretary, Emmanuel Twagirumukiza, was later cancelled at the latter’s instructions.
Twagirumukiza is currently accused of separate tendering irregularity he allegedly committed while still at the hem of TIG.
According to sources conversant with the Frw43 million tender case, the two officials didn’t advertise the tender in media outlets as required in normal practice despite having enough time to do so.
“They only invited the businessman (Muhirwa) and awarded him the tender without bidding,” a source said on condition of anonymity.
The duo commissioned the controversial tender when their then boss (Twagirumukiza) was on leave.
It’s also alleged that Col. Musitu and Nabayire colluded to inflate the tender value from about Frw28 million to Frw43 million.
The two TIG senior officials deny any wrongdoing, insisting that there was food shortage in the camp and wanted an immediate supplier.
But a source dismissed that excuse saying the two officials were duly notified about the food requirement twenty-one days earlier, the time which is legally required for any tender to be advertised for purposes of transparency and accountability.
A source said that although the duo had adequate time to ensure that tendering procedures were duly observed, there was no newspaper advert to that effect.
But both Musitu and Nabayire have not yet been summoned by authorities over the aborted Frw43 million tender and they bitterly refuted the allegations.
Through TIG legal advisor, one Joseph and the institution’s secretary for the internal tender committee, Gentille Umushashi, the two officials explained that they took the decision to commission a single-source tender in order to solve the food crisis at the camp.
The two men themselves dismissed the allegations.
“We handled the tender legally and there was no foul play involved,” Musitu said.
Nabayire said the issue was carried out in the interest of the country.
They claimed that they obtained a non-objection from the National Tender Board (NTB), but could not produce any official correspondence to that effect.
However, Twagirumukiza asserted that the reason why he cancelled the tender was because it violated normal tendering procedures.
He also dismissed claims that the tender was for an emergency situation, saying he had notified both officials about the food shortage early enough.
“We received this particular case in early December before I started my leave. They had more than thirty days to handle this particular case which they did not,” he said.
The case also led to a misunderstanding between TIG and Road Maintenance Fund, which had a contract with TIG to pay their food suppliers.
A TIG official admitted that there had been a mistake of not having notified the Fund, but said it was later resolved.
When contacted, officials from Road Maintenance Fund said they had paid contracts that bore their visa which had copies of purchased orders as is the norm, but that in this case they had none. The TIG Executive Secretary Everest Bizimana declined to give a comment.
“I will probably have to crosscheck with the records,” Bizimana, a former infrastructure minister, who was appointed to the helm of the community service parastatal over two months ago, said yesterday.
TIG is charged with organising community activities for convicted prisoners, with thousands guilty of Genocide charges, already serving such punishments.