By CIC Investigations.
DEVON OIL FAILS TO CHALLENGE MEDIA INQUIRY WHY THEIR CONTRACT WAS CANCELLED AFTER MINISTRY OF ENERGY GAVE THE SIDE OF THEIR STORY.
CIC took interest in the ongoing saga that is implicating Energy Minister Hon Peter Kapala who is being accused of cancelling the supply of cheaper fuel from Devon company and agreeing to buy from Agro Fuel at a higher price.
Ministry of Energy said that its true a company called Devon expressed interest to supply fuel at a cheaper cost than Agro and government in quest to find cheaper and affordable fuel considred them and gave them a contract and later cancelled it. He said as Ministry they do not deny cancelling the contract because it was abrogated by Devon themselves for failing to meet the agreed requirements in the contract. Hon Kapala said that he has no apology for protecting Zambia from a bad deal oiled in a cheap fuel face with compromised documents and lies.
Speaking to CIC when they paid a curtesy call on his office yesterday to get facts of the matter, Hon Kapala said the deal that was given to Devon to supply cheap fuel was valid for one month only and they where told to supply by 26th September 2023 their fuel ought to have been in the TAZAMA pipeline.
He said Devon was asked to bring 30% bond performance (equivelant to surety) so that incase of anything government can cash in to recover the lose in an event the deal does not go well and to avoid government losing money. He explained that bond performance is kind of a surety because alot of money was involved in the deal. He went further to say that Devon lied that they have fuel to be available within the specified time agreed in the contract yet their ship had not even docked and they never secured their birthing slot in Tanzania, that government went out of its way to contact Tanzania government if they could priotise Devon to ofload their fuel but where told the ship is not there. That government even helped to secure the birthing slot for Devon thinking the ship is there because they couldn’t secure themselves yet their ship was not there and the Tanzanian side confirmed not seeing their ship at the harbour.
He revealed that the 30 % bond performance document was brought 2 weeks later and not signed by the owners of Devon only the insurance company signed on it making it not only useless but worthless to the government because the amount in it was lower than the agreed value and that being the first time Ministry of Energy was doing business with Devon it was not worthy doing business with them if they couldn’t produce the sensible bond performance as requested by government that has value to what they claim to supply.
He said Devon can not complain of the contract being cancelled because they where told by 26th September the fuel should be in the pipeline if later than that then no deal yet their fuel was ready by 28th October 2023 that government couldnt risk the shortage in the country as it is an economic and security risk hence opted to give the contract to Agro fuel who where ready and their consignment ship was in place.
On the amount, Hon Kapala said the difference in question is not that much but the key issue is that government cancelled the Devon deal not because it was cheaper to opt for Agro Fuel as they are saying is expensive but because their bond performance amount value was lower than the amount agreed and it was delivered 2 weeks against the stipulated time frame with no signatures of the owners of Devon making worthless and useless (he insisted).
Hon Kapala said he does not care about the media propaganda being sponsored against him because his ministry acted in good faith and he stands by that. He said Devon fuel came very late when the contract was already cancelled and TAZAMA could not alllow them to load because another deal was already in force.
CIC contacted Devon company through their managing Director Mr Chombe Gondwe asking him to challenge the ministry if at all Hon Kapala is lying towards the events that led to the cancellation of the contract but he could neither deny nor confirm other than otpting to remain mute and said there will be a press briefing slated for yesterday and that CIC was invited. CIC waited for the invitation of the presser the entire day only to hear that its been cancelled. CIC pressed Devon further to give details of their bond performance documents and explain what was agreed in the contract terms and time they where told to supply and agreed vs the time fuel actually came alas the Managing Director remains mute and not picking calls.
Hon Kapala has stood his ground and advised OMC president to ask Devon for the whole story before calling for his dismisal that no amount of propaganda no matter how many people will be sponsored to speak against him will make him do the wrong thing against Government’s proceedure and that he welcomes ACC or any investigative wings to check the procurement process and see if they did anything wrong. He said if Devon was genuine why are they not telling the nation why they failed to bring the bond perfornance document in time and not in 2 weeks, why are did they not sign it and why did they lie that they have fuel to supply in that period when they knew they don’t have at that time. He challenged the media house reporting against him to get full information from both sides. He went on to say politics at hand coupled with propaganda must not make people to jump into conclusion simply because someone said its cheap fuel when it was a bad deal.
CIC deeper investigations revealed that Devon leaderships include former State House Political Adviser Mr Kaiser Zulu.