LILONGWE (MalawiTalk) – President Dr Lazarus Chakwera is indeed slowly and steadily turning into the person he campaign against corruption to the point of decorating the then leader, Professor Peter Mutharika, with a disdaining name of a “prince of thieves” as six months in the office, Chakwera appears to be turning into the person he saw in Mutharika with his henchmen from State House and Office of the President (OPC) threatening Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera)to award oil contracts to two suppliers for them to share the proceeds.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) said in a scathing statement issued Wednesday that it was more disturbing that while the nation awaits with investigations on the alleged State House/Crossroads scam, there were these revelations on Mera where Secretary to President and Cabinet Mr Duvelious Zangazanga Chikhosi taking orders from the Malawi leader is forcing the award of oil supply contracts to two companies Mera rejected.
Reads the statement: “We have information that high profile government authorities are allegedly threatening Mera and Nocma (National Oil Company of Malawi ) officials to award a contract to their preferred suppliers (two) whose cost will be USD 50 million more.”
Mera reportedly refused to approve the contracts because of irregularities in the awarding of the contracts to the two companies out of 23 bidders.
It is further said that there are also concerns over the capacity of the two companies to supply fuel and over reports that Lake Oil is facing a debt crisis in Tanzania.
HRDC has since demanded the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ABC) to quickly move in and stop the un-procedural award to these two companies.
The human rights body has also demanded that the Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet to stop being the board chairman for Nocma, Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) and Power Market Limited (PML) to avoid conflict of interest.
“These are some of things that derail commitment to good governance and accountability which President Chakwera should have stepped in and stopped long time ago.
“But just like the President accepted to be Chancellor of the University of Malawi on the pretext that laws are yet to be changed, we feel Dr Chakwera is not angry enough to lead this country. The President seems not to be transformative after all,” charges the HRDC statement.
The statement concludes by warning President Chakwera that: “Unless we see genuine change and drastic steps to implement campaign promises, HRDC will soon start to mobilise Malawians to demand what they deserve and what they were promised and signed for.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Eisenhower Mkaka, who is also President Chakwera’s green eyed boy and another powerful minister Mr Richard Chimwendo Banda are implicated to be on a rampage, demanding K50 million from each and every Asian businesperson who wants to bid for Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (Marep) tenders, if they want to be successful.
With the blessings of President Chakwera, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) established a committee to look at allocations of Marep tenders and that Chakwera and his errand boys should make a good fortune from it.
From the directions of the President, the Committee had to include Mkaka and Chimwendo as they were the ones to report to the President directly and make sure the proceeds reached to him.
This has forced Mkaka and Chimwendo to be going around in town pushing Asian businesspersons to pay up to get a cut or they lose the contract.
Some Asians who are hesitant to pay the K50 million have been threatened to be started of government business.
Meanwhile, they asked the Principal Secretary Mr Patrick Matanda and a senior ministry official Mr Rex Gama to prepare the necessary documents so that they see how to play around when one pays up.
Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has been tipped on this issue to investigate.