The Post

By Gift Chanda

October 18, 2011

ENERGY director Oscar Kalumiana has revealed that the MMD government single-sourced an international company to rehabilitate oil reserve tanks in all the provincial headquarters.

The company, Dalbit International Limited, was exposed by The Post as having had links with State House shortly before it was selected for the supply of oil to the country.

And Kalumiana, the energy director at the Ministry of Energy, failed to give substantial reasons why the government single-sourced the procurement of oil in 2009 and 2010 during the Indeni Oil Refinery planned shutdown.

Appearing before the energy tribunal called to look into alleged corrupt practices in the energy sector chaired by PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba, Kalumiana said the previous government had single-sourced Dalbit international Limited, a petroleum company which has its headquarters in Mauritius and specialises in the sale and distribution of Petroleum Products in East Africa and the Great Lakes Region, to rehabilitate the nine oil strategic tanks in provincial headquarters.

The company was contracted to refurbish the nine strategic tanks without following the Zambia Public Procurement Act and the tender procedures.

Kalumiana said the company was single-sourced last year on principle that they had done a “good job” when the government had first single-sourced it to rehabilitate three oil tanks on the Copperbelt in 2007.

Kalumiana was responding to a question on how many companies had been awarded contracts for the supply of oil in the last five years.

TAZAMA told the ministry that we would have a problem if we did not do rehabilitate the three terminal tanks in Ndola, that was tank number one for petrol, tank number three for diesel and tank number nine also for diesel. And on account of that there was a dilemma because actually government didn’t have the money,” he said.

“So there was actually an offer by Dalbit to actually do the financing and then be paid later. That is how that project started. Dalbit finished the three tanks at the terminal and we got a very good report from TAZAMA in terms of the workmanship. The work was done very well. It was on that reason that when there was need to do the provincial tanks…we gave the tender to Dalbit. It was a direct tender.”

He said the direct bid was approved by both the Zambia Procurement Authority (ZPPA) and the Attorney General.

“The cost for the three tanks in Ndola was US $2.8 million and the government didn’t have this money,” Kalumiana said.

Earlier, the commission took Kalumiana to task on the government’s decision to single-source the procurement of fuel during the planned shutdowns of Indeni in 2009 and 2010.

According to the law, a direct tender is only applicable in special cases.

The Post exposé in 2009 revealed that an official from Dalbit Petroleum, was in the country for negotiations and the government provided him with an aide-de-camp (ADC) and was chauffeur driven in a black Mercedes Benz belonging to the government.

Dalbit Petroleum Limited is a privately-owned company incorporated under the Companies Act Cap.486 of the laws of Kenya. The company is licensed to procure and market petroleum products in the domestic Kenyan market and for export to the neighbouring Great Lakes region in Africa.