China’s ZTE has had lost the contract between them and the Zambian government over corruption allegations. ZTE was to provide Zambia with closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras worth $ 210 million.
The contract was awarded earlier this year under a direct agreement, without an open tender procedure, raising suspicions of corruption.
The Zambian government is also afraid that it is possible that the cost of the project may have been inflated.
The pressured minister of home affairs in Zambia, Edgar Lungu announced that the agreement between the two parties has been dissolved.
Lungu said the tender has been cancelled along with accusations of corruption in the manner in which the contract was awarded. He added that security agencies have also been informed of the cancellation.
The CCTV cameras project is a ministry of home affairs initiative planned to assist with crime prevention, traffic management and general monitoring on the streets of the capital Lusaka.
“In cancelling the contract, I have also communicated to the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Auditor General and the ministry of Justice to scrutinize the contract following the allegations of single-sourcing of a contractor,” said Lungu.
The minister also said that termination of the contract follows escalating allegations of non-compliance to standard regulations in the manner it was awarded.
The cameras on the streets were intended to become effective once the country’s Roads and Safety Agency (RATSA) has put in place a solid database to identify the owners of vehicles.
Under the surveillance system, drivers’ licenses are also expected to be linked to their bank accounts so that those who commit offenses are planned to have money debited from them electronically.