BCC defies Govt directive
THE Bulawayo City Council has defied a Government directive to dis-engage a condemned supplier who has failed to deliver a cremator since 2014.
The local authority in 2013 engaged Masen Engineering to supply a cremator at Westpark Cemetery and the company is yet to deliver.
The Ministry of Public Works and National Housing, in an investigative report, ordered council to claim its money from the insurance company since the contractor failed to supply within the specified time.
Instead, council, according to the latest report, has decided to pay off the remaining $20 000 to Masen Engineering for the supply of a cremator.
Masen Engineering has requested that council assist it in settling its legal fees in order to get the cremator and council has approved the request.
“The Town Clerk (25th October, 2016) recalled that Council had tendered for the supply, installation and commissioning of a cremator at Westpark Crematorium.
“The tender was awarded to Masen Engineering Private Limited in the sum of $121 400. Council paid an advance payment of $97 120 and Masen provided a performance guarantee for the same from Excellence Insurance Brokers.
Unfortunately the contractor failed to deliver the cremator within the agreed period.”
The report shows council was informed by its lawyers, Majoko and Majoko that the cremator was indeed purchased but was stuck in Durban because the supplier had not sent a Bill of Lading indicating that the cremator was goods in transit and SARS was now demanding duty from the contractor.
“The wrangle between Masen, SARS and the shipping company spilled into the courts. The Bill of Lading was eventually sent and the storage charges were cleared. However, because the matter ended up in court, the outstanding issue was the legal costs in the sum of R120 000,” reads the report.
“Management had a meeting with Mr Majoko on Thursday the 20th October 2016 and he had assured them that the cremator was there but the contractor now required assistance to pay off the legal costs and have the cremator released.”
It is stated in the report that management was of the view that council should pay the outstanding costs so that the cremator could be released and the amount would be deducted from the $20 000 still outstanding so that it could mitigate its loss.
“Council resolved to recommend that it pays the outstanding costs ($20 000) to Masen Engineering (Pvt) Ltd so that the cremator can be released. This amount to be deducted from the outstanding balance.”
The Ministry in its report recommended that the local authority should engage contractors with financial capacity to deliver.
“Council should invoke liquidated damages to the contractor. Council should claim from Excellence Insurance Company,” reads the Ministry’s report.