Government After Briefcase Companies Supplying COVID-19 Equipment

Cabinet Resolves to Suspends Rent Deferral Penalties

The government will be going after briefcase companies, that only exist on paper, which are tendering supplies in Zimbabwe, Information and Broadcasting Minister Monica Mutsvangwa revealed this week.

Mutsvangwa said the mushrooming briefcase companies are being involved in the tendering process for COVID-19 supplies.

She also said the cabinet resolved that reputable and established companies be contracted to supply COVID-19 materials.

“Government will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that such unscrupulous business elements are sifted out,” Mutsvangwa said.

Briefcase companies have always been a problem in Zimbabwe with former Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa at one point in 2014 blaming corruption in the State Procurement Board (SPB).

Chinamasa by then revealed worry on the dominance of briefcase businesses in the tender system, with middlemen instead of producers winning tenders.

Ironically, in 2006, a local press reported that Zimbabwe’s ruling party had also set up briefcase companies including Sovereign, Hustonville, Tescrom, Amelia, Ryobi, Prinfit and M&S Investments in a bid to beat targeted sanctions.

Last year concerns were raised that the government could have sold Cold Storage Company (CSC) to a briefcase company, Boustead Beef (Pvt).

Due to the mushrooming of briefcase companies in the tendering process for COVID-19 the cabinet also resolved that a Risk-Based Approach testing for the workforce in Industry and Commerce and other sectors of the economy be conducted and comprehensive package of preventative interventions maintained.

The cabinet also resolved that Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is a way of testing COVID-19, be administered on those who need it and based on proper sampling.

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