The tablet computers presented to All-Belarus National Assembly delegates have caused a sandal. It looked like tax-payers had paid 500 thousand dollars for Samsung tablets.
However, editor-in-chief of SB.Belarus Today Pavel Yakubovich thinks different.
“The tablet computers were not bought by the state. They were bought by a sponsor company and it did not cost much. These computers are not even for sale now. Nobody has robbed the budget, it was a sponsor’s gift,” Yakubovich is sure.
Those Samsung Galaxy Tab A6 tablets appeared in online flea markets a few days after the All-Belarus National Assembly.
“It is an MTS device. We only turned it on once to check if it worked. It cost about 4 million roubles, we are selling it for 3 million,” the wife of a Minsk delegate is advertising the device.
Victoria R., a delegate from Homel Province, has confirmed the information. She described the tablet computer Samsung Galaxy Tab A6, the manual, warranty and other documents.
“MTS sales department, Independence Avenue 95, Minsk,” Victoria read out.
There is an MTS SIM card installed in the device. It has free Internet until the end of July, the ex-delegate said.
The main office of MTS is situated in Independence Avenue 95, Minsk. We have asked the company if it spent 500 thousand dollars to present tablet computers to delegates.
MTS did not sponsor the purchase of the tablet computers, the company representatives assured.
“Our technical specialists only provided Internet access during the All-Belarus National Assembly,” acting head of MTS PR department Iryna Halubenka said.
MTS did not say who had bought the tablet computers. Was it some secret company? Or was budget money used to buy them?
Minsk City Executive Committee published a purchase plan for 400 tablet computers on the state purchase website. Interestingly, exactly 400 delegates represented Minsk at the Assembly. Is it a coincidence?
We have contacted deputy head of the executive office of Minsk City Executive Committee Aleh Yermalovich. According to the state purchase website, he was responsible for the tender.
- It looks like Minsk City Executive Committee bought tablet computers for the All-Belarus National assembly delegates…
Aleh Yermalovich: Who knows, maybe they did. I cannot comment on such things. I have heard different opinions. They wrote my name because they had to put a name there.
- Does it mean they the purchase documents were filled in?
Aleh Yermalovich: Actually, I do not know. Ask the administration about it.
We should go to… church, head of the executive office of Minsk City Executive Committee Mikalai Kotau said.
“If you have some doubts, go to church. You will find yourself there,” Kotau replied and sent us to the ideology department of Minsk City Executive Committee.
“I do not even know. I cannot explain anything either,” head of Minsk City Executive Committee press service Lyudmila Vysotskaya was surprised. She sent us back to Kotau.
We have checked the state purchase website again. The information about tablet computers is there. It could not appear on that website all by itself.