About 42 fire trucks were early this week paraded at the Lusaka Showgrounds for distribution to various cities.
PF critics have come out guns blazing accusing the ruling party of corruptly awarding the supply of the trucks to suspected party loyalists at an inflated price.
Among the chief critics of the tender is former chief government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili who allegedly said $1 millions for each truck was excessive.
BELOW IS THE PF RESPONSE
*So what’s the fuss about the fire Trucks? Let’s look at the facts*
A public tender was brought out in 2015, business entities submitted, a selection was made and approved by Zambia Public Procurement Authority(ZPPA)
It should be noted that over 18 business entities participated and submitted quotations from $32m-$56m for 42 fire tender specialized trucks
Two years later what you saw on Friday is therefore a hand-over ceremony and not a procurement process.
*How much is a fire-truck?*
The short answer depends on the fire truck or fire tender.
There are three most common fire trucks.
1. A pumper/engine truck,
2. A ladder truck, and
3. A wildland truck of some sort.
Specialized and custom-made trucks like a heavy rescue or hazmat truck would be common also.
*Why are Fire tenders so expensive?*
There are two costs associated with fire tenders;
a) the type of apparatus, b) the cost and type of vehicle and c) the cost of the equipment that the truck carries.
So a fire engine, depending on the class and type of truck ranges from $1.5m whereas a ladder truck could cost up to $350,000 and that is with both trucks unequipped.
Shipment of this trucks is also different from normal vehicles
Adding equipment from basics like hoses to hydraulic extrication tools may add another $50,000 to $100,000 to the existing costs.
It all comes down to the specifications of the department ordering a new (not used) truck (renowned brands like Scania, Renault, Mercedes and other technically excellent vehicle add costs to say Tata or Daihatsu).
The costs also responds to the specifications that the source wants and what functions they want that piece of equipment to do and perform.