OWNERS of vehicles hired to transport the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) 2023 examination papers are still to paid, five months after they rendered their services, it emerged this week.
The vehicles were hired through government’s Central Mechanical and Equipment Department (CMED) at a rate of US$152 per day, to deliver examination papers for Grade Seven, Ordinary and Advanced levels to various centres across Zimbabwe.
This was after Zimsec introduced a new exam delivery strategy to ensure the safety of question papers and curb leaking of examinations.
Zimsec has already released all the results for the 2023 academic year.
Vehicle owners, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they rendered services for up to 30 days but were informed that CMED had not received the funds from Zimsec to pay them.
This is despite CMED having promised to pay for the services at the end of the examination sittings, according to a contract signed between the two parties, seen by NewsDay.
The amounts due, someclose to US$4 000, were to be paid in local currency at the prevailing interbank rate.
“CMED shall pay the hire fee in respect of the vehicle(s) either at the end of the programme or monthly into bank accounts supplied herein within a reasonable time frame. (A 30% withholding tax charge will be deducted from all payments due to the contractor unless a valid tax clearance certificate is availed).
“In the event that the service rendered by the contractor’s vehicle or driver is found to be unsatisfactory, CMED shall have the right to terminate the contract in whole or part in terms hereof,” read part of the contract.
Contacted for comment, Zimsec spokesperson Nicholette Dlamini said CMED received the funds and “would continue to receive the funds” as there was a continuous business partnership between the parastatals.
“How or who they pay after we have remitted is not under Zimsec’s purview. CMED and Zimsec are parastatals which are engaged in ongoing business partnerships.”
CMED spokesperson Tarisai Muzorori said Zimsec paid part of the service providers’ dues while some were yet to receive theirs.
“We have a solid working relationship with our support services and all our operations are done transparently. Every business agreement we enter into with our stakeholders is bound by a contractual agreement that we honour to the satisfaction of parties involved.
“We have a good working relationship with Zimsec and any other State enterprise through our reputable and unmatched quality service provision.
“CMED has received part payment for the service rendered to Zimsec. However, the money was disbursed to the support service providers in accordance to the portion received.”
Muzorori said they were engaging Zimsec regarding payment of the balance.
“We promise our support service providers to settle our obligation at the earliest possible time once we receive the final payment.”