If you were having coffee with me, I would welcome you to my tangle of words and apologise that due to the constant electricity outages, I cant offer you an ice cold refreshment to cool you down from the sweltering heat… Temperatures are 30 degrees Celsius and rising – Hello Global Warming.
Its that time of the year again… the Jacaranda trees are starting to bloom – for the examination classes, its crunch time. Can we now put up Christmas Décor or its too soon?
If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you about a rise in next generation of entrepreneurs or rather tenderpreneurs, who make their fortunes in the lucrative business of government tenders, usually by opening inner doors in the government corridors of power. For some bureaucratic reason, the government requires tenders to get anything done, from getting the stationery in a police station to rehabilitating the roads that connect up the country. This process is supposed to ensure transparency and accountability in government procurement, ensuring that due process is carried and tenders awarded to deserving contractors.
Oddest thing is that this process feeds into the ugly underbelly of greed and corruption – where the contractors who win tenders, the tenderpreneurs, are more of middlemen who usually grease palms with kick backs and use their connections to gain the upper hand -subcontracting others to deliver supplies and or services at bloated up prices while they pocket the change. Sometimes they dont deliver at all, they just laugh all the way to the bank and that is that.
Payments to government contractors have also been cited as a contributor to the parallel market. Since the funds are disbursed in the local Zimbabwe dollar, unscrupulous contractors would then float their ZWL balances to the black market to buy United States Dollars. Zim government accounts for 70% of the payments done in this teapot shaped country.
For the past 2 months the run away black market rate for the USD has been curbed and the government says the measures it has taken such as introducing the Mosi Oa Tunya Gold coin is what is stabilising the rate. Government also suspended its payments to contractors to weed out those that had inflated contracts – and this may be a huge contributing factor as to why the illegal Money Changers who are usually flash with cash offering “high rates” for the USD haven’t been as solvent.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you about some computers the government wanted to acquire. See, Parliament wanted to get some flashy new computers which can handle all the important government stuff that they do… The tender which has gotten cancelled was going to see them get machines for around USD$9000 a pop.
Apparently, the deal was only cancelled by Treasury after a losing bidder unearthed the scam, exposing Parliament for having approved the inflated tender. Looks like it’s a cut-throat world in the government tender business. Check out a viral picture of what is said to be the office for one of the companies that was set to gross a cool $1.6 million—Yeah doesn’t look like the sort of place to stock 9K dollar laptops.
What sort of laptops were they even looking for? Usually the most expensive laptops are gaming laptops that have tricked out specs so one can do benchmark gaming—I would be very worried if in parliament they spent their time playing video games. I also highly doubt that they would need to do any graphic designing, video editing and rendering; even if they did, could still get respectable machines at a fraction of that price. Who is in charge of deciding what sort of laptops Parliament should get?
FYI this article was typed up on a $300 laptop 💻
If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that the Artemis Launch has been delayed,… again. The spacecraft was rolled back from the launchpad and secured inside NASA Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building to ride out Hurricane Ian. I hope you all were safe in Florida.
Upon assessment of the impact from Hurricane Ian its been determined that there was no damage to Artemis I and so NASA now focusing on a November 12-27 launch window.
Incidentally Zimbabwe’s first satellite — ZimSat-1 — is set to reach the International Space Station (ISS) in October prior to its launch into orbit in November from the Kibo module of the ISS. This was after a two-month delay due to unfavourable weather. Not exactly sure what its supposed to do, but according to the unflatteringly named Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA), “It is envisaged that the satellite will immensely enhance the country’s mineral exploration, monitoring of environmental hazards and mapping of human settlements, among other capabilities.”
Colour me curious, whats the approximate value of your laptop? Whats been happening in your neck of the woods?
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