PRIME Minister Moeketsi Majoro has denied corruptly awarding a M22 million tender to a local company to supply testing kits for Covid-19.
Social media has been awash with allegations that Dr Majoro had ordered Green Leaves Medical Supplies to be given the tender to supply 100 000 antigen test kits to the Ministry of Health. This was allegedly done without following procurement regulations which require tender bids to be advertised and bidding companies to go through an evaluation process before the winner is chosen among other things.
Those who accused Dr Majoro of involvement in the “fraudulent” awarding of the tender cited a M22 million purchase order which was recently made out to Green Leaves by the Office of the Prime Minister as proof of his complicity in the awarding of the tender.
However, Dr Majoro’s press attaché, Buta Moseme, has dismissed the allegations as “baseless”. He said the awarding of the tender was above board and Dr Majoro was not involved in anyway.
“It has come to the attention of the Office of the Prime Minister that there are false media reports alleging that Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro is involved in corrupt activities involving the procurement of goods by the government,” Mr Moseme said in a statement.
“These reports are based on an official document of the government – a purchase order showing the buying of antigen test tits from one of the businesses in Lesotho.
“What has been happening is that the Disaster Management Authority has been spearheading the procurement antigen test kits from South African companies. At first, these companies delivered 50 000 antigen test kits and they delivered another 50 000 test kits on the second delivery. On the third delivery, these companies delivered 100 000 antigen test kits.
“After that, a decision was made that this tender must be awarded to local companies, not the South African firms. The tender panel from the Office of the Prime Minister (not the prime minister himself), awarded this tender to a company called Green Leaves Medical Supplies to supply the Ministry of Health with 100 000 antigen test kits. This is what appears on the purchase order.
“This was done in line with the procurement regulations which were followed to the letter. The Office of the Prime Minister stresses that the Prime Minister, Dr Majoro, is not involved in the work of the tender panel. Therefore, allegations that he is the one who issued or gave an order for the issuance of this purchase order are false.
“The fact that the Office of the Prime Minister appears on that document does not mean that the Prime Minister has personally awarded the tender. We therefore dismiss these allegations and plead with those disseminating them to do thorough investigations and stop publishing lies,” Mr Moseme said.