The Ministry of Basic Education(MoBE) gave Harvest Investment twelve food-rations tenders for different junior secondary schools in the Nata/Gweta and Nkange Constituencies while youth businesses were being sidelined.
This emerged last week Friday at Parliament when Nata-Gweta MP Polson Majaga questioned Harvest Investment’s monopoly at his constituency while there are many capable youth businesses which can do food rations tenders even better. Assistant Minister of Basic Education Moiseraele Goya said they are aware that there are businesses which are youth owned and could have been empowered yet Harvest Investment keeps on enjoying the food tender monopoly. However MoBE defended their procurement method, implying that it is transparent and does not shun the youth or extend monopoly to anyone.
“The method of procurement used is the Open Domestic Bidding method (National Competitive Bidding). In this method, all businesses inclusive of youth owned companies are eligible to participate,” said Goya.
Goya said the local empowerment initiative was included in the tender process. He added that their institutions have a 20 % quota reserved for the Local Procurement Scheme. The assistant minister said the price preference scheme of up to 15% cumulative in favour of, the ownership control and employment of the target groups was granted within these tenders.
The company surrounded by controversy Harvest Investment is owned by Sipho Mlalazi and it has also been enjoying a curious monopoly to supply food rations at Sowa Town Council and the Dukwi Refugee Camp according to information passed to this publication. This publication understands that Harvest Investment’s monopoly of government tenders has been a centre of curiosity prompting Majaga’s questions before lawmakers.