Finance Secretary Guvamatanga has claimed that the government did not lose any money as a result of the opaque and corrupt deal between the government and Drax. The deal which never went to tender involved Drax selling Covid-19 medical equipment at heavily inflated prices. According to Secretary Guvamatanga there was no contract between the government and Drax only an attempt to sign a contract.
This does seem strange. Back when the Drax deal was unearthed there was a indeed a signed contract. Indeed the government the Ministry of Finance later wrote a letter cancelling the deal:
As you are aware, a meeting was held between the ministers of Finance … and Health and Child Care in which a representative of Drax Consult was invited to participate to discuss the contract on the supply of Covid-19 requirements, as well as the suspension of the US$20 million contract and the cancellation of the US$40 million contract with the same company.
One of the outcomes of the meeting was that government did not accept the prices that had been quoted on items under the above-mentioned contracts and Drax Consult was advised to engage NatPharm to review the prices downwards.
The understanding was that payment would only be made upon submission of revised prices, as well as upon confirmation of delivery of the outstanding Covid-19 equipment which the supplier had advised was still in transit.
Some people have however pointed out whether the government lost money or not in this instance is not important. What is of particular concern is the fact that such a deal could indeed happen and was only unearthed after a leak. Opaque deals like these take place all the time with the government losing millions of dollars possibly billions.