A scam has been unearthed in which government stands to lose over K150 million if the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) bows down to political pressure to replace a Zambia Transport Information System (ZAMTIS) which only needs upgrading to enhance its operations.
Officials at the Ministry of Work, Supply, Transport and Communications told the Daily Nation that some senior government officials wanted the tender for the supply, delivery and installation of the ZAMTIS system re-advertised so that they influence the tendering and bidding process in their favour after the former Minister Christopher Yaluma cancelled it on allegations of corruption in 2012.
The officials said that the same politicians in government have again regrouped and are now asking RTSA to re-advertise the tender for the procurement of a new ZAMTIS system when they know that the current system only needed upgrading to accommodate other features which would enhance the collection of revenue, improve the quality of drivers license and other motor registration features.
Zambia Transport Information Systems (ZAMTIS) is a computerized system used for processing all the various transactions relating to motor vehicle and driver registration.
Officials revealed that some government officers at the Ministry had brought in their Chinese business partners to discuss the possibility of supplying the country with a new system which was costly.
“There have been too many manoeuvres from politicians and some senior government officials at the Ministry over the ZAMTIS system. They are pushing for the tender which was cancelled by former Minister Christopher Yaluma to be re-advertised. But what we are asking is what are we re-advertising for when the current ZAMTIS system is working? What we know is that this system only needs upgrading?
What is shocking is that some politicians and senior government officials and their businessmen allies are pushing for a new tender to be advertised. If this system we have is upgraded it will do all the other functions any other system can do. Actually our system is among the largest or biggest in the region in-terms of features and its capacity to multi-task,” an official said.
Last year Minister of Works, Supply, Transport and Communications Christopher Yaluma cancelled the tender on allegations of corruption and fired senior officials at the institution.
Officials now say that before the Attorney General Mumba Malila could even give his legal opinion on the matter, political pressure was mounting on RTSA to re-advertise the tender by those interested and claiming that the system would crash.