Procurement body refutes Macmillan bribery claims

The Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA), has announced that the global book publisher, Macmillan Publishers Limited passed through legal procedures to win tenders in Rwanda.Augustin Seminega, RPPA Director told The New Times, yesterday, that all the tenders awarded to Macmillan “passed through genuine procedures.”

The Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA), has announced that the global book publisher, Macmillan Publishers Limited passed through legal procedures to win tenders in Rwanda.

Augustin Seminega, RPPA Director told The New Times, yesterday, that all the tenders awarded to Macmillan “passed through genuine procedures.”

“I am aware that Macmillan used to compete for tenders to supply text books in the country, but I am not aware of any tender they (Macmillan) won which did not pass through proper procedures,” Seminega said in a telephone interview.

A UK court recently fined the Macmillan Publishers over £11.3m, (approx. over Rwf11bn) for "unlawful conduct" related to its education wing in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

The publisher was also ordered to pay Serious Fraud Office (SFO) costs of £27,000.

The court decision followed investigations launched into all public tender contracts won by Macmillan in the three countries between 2002 and 2009 by the SFO.

The publisher was under investigation following a report by the World Bank.

In May last year, World Bank banned Macmillan UK from being awarded any of its contracts for six years following the admission of bribery payments.

Seminega, however, said that the allegations of bribes by the publisher in Rwanda were untrue.

“They (court) did not specify the kind of bribes they say were made in Rwanda to win tenders. We have to know specific tenders they say Macmillan won unlawfully.

We need to understand what they mean by saying that the publisher acquired tender(s) through illegal procedures in Rwanda,” Seminega noted.

Efforts to reach the Macmillan Country Director were futile as those who answered the repeated calls said he could not be reached.

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