Public procurement board reviews Mota Engil contract over corruption claims; Malawi railway project

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Mr Timothy Kalembo acting director general was by-passed

LILONGWE (MalawiTalk) – Portuguese multidisciplinary engineering group Mota Engil which  has been accused of being front runners in providing bribes to grease the wheels of Malawi government contracts is in the news against over a  K48 billion railway line rehabilitation project.

According to the documents MalawiTalk has seen, the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) gave Ministry of Transport “no objection” to allow it engage Motal Engil do the works.

The documents show  the ministry  wrote the PPDA  in November, 2020 seeking no objection and was responded to positively on  January 22 2021.

“Please notify the successful bidder and ensure that all the necessary formalities are compiled to,” reads  the letter signed by PPDA official Ms Nancy Wana.

The project will see the section between Bangula to Marka being rehabilitated.

However, sources say the PPDA board was not involved in making a decision for the multi-billion project.

The PPDA board on Monday met   and tackled the K48 billion Mota Engil railway deal, agreeing to withdraw the “No Objection” as it was devoid of the Board’s blessings.

Ms Wana is reported to have signed the “No Objection” without the knowledge of the acting director general Mr Timothy Kalembo, who is the one mandated to sign.

Disciplinary action has commenced against the Wana  as the PPDA, which previously operated as Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP), is in a process of transitioning to a more independent authority responsible for the regulation, monitoring and oversight of procurement and disposal of public assets in Malawi.

Since the enactment of the PPD Act in July 2017, the authority has been operating without a substantive director general and deputy director general. The board  appointed Mr Timothy Kalembo as acting director general.

The railway  project will once again expose the shoddy deals in the current administration.

Lately, the President Dr Lazarus Chakwera government has been riddled with scandals which border on corruption.

Mota Engil has been reported to have bribed the previous regime and was awarded a 30-year concession to manage Malawi Lake Services (MLS), a State-owned entity that has been running water transport services on Lake Malawi.

The company initially ventured into the Malawi market as a road contractor and they are now being awarded almost all road construction projects by government.

Mr Timothy Kalembo acting director general was by-passed

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