By Takunda Mandura
Harare City Council Audit committee has tasked the director of Housing and Community Services Addmore Nhekairo to institute legal action against Synlak (Pvt) Ltd in a bid to recover US$338 281 or its equivalent at the Interbank rate which it paid in a failed crematorium deal.
The committee also instructed acting Chamber Secretary Charles Kandemiiri to take necessary action for the restoration of the old crematorium which was dismantled by Synlak (Pvt) Ltd in an effort to construct a new one.
The city council is said to have entered into a contract with Synlak (Pvt) Ltd on the 26th of September 2017 (Tender Number: COH/DHCS/S2/2015) for the removal of the old crematorium unit, supply and delivery, installation and commissioning of a new cremation one as well as ancillary equipment and a standby generator at Warren Hills Crematorium at a cost of US$494 270.
An addendum signed by Harare City Council and Synlak (Pvt) Ltd in January of 2017 showed the below-listed deliverables which were going to trigger payments:
Stage (i): Advance payment of 30% (US$148 281) on basis of the following site establishment, dismantling and removal of the old existing crematorium unit and delivery to central stores, proof of procurement for main equipment (a) crematorium and (b) a generator and building repairs.
Stage (ii): Payment Completion 30% (US$148 281) on the delivery of the main equipment to site electrical works and rehabilitation or gas system.
A sum of US$148 281was to be paid within 30 days of completion of stage 2.
Stage (iii) Payment of Commissioning, training and site handover 40%: Installation and commission of all main plant equipment (crematorium generator, air blower and chimney and roofing. A sum of US$$197 708 was to be paid in 6months after commissioning and handover at a rate of US$40 365, 39 per month
According to the minutes dating 17th July 2019,
“A total cost of US$338 281 which translated to 68% of the amount due was paid yet quantum of work carried out translated to 0.1%. This indicated that the company had failed to deliver as per clause 8 of the Addendum.
“There was no evidence that the performance guarantee as required in clause 10 was submitted by Synlak and key deliverables indicated above were expected to trigger payment,” read the council minutes