Escom says IBAM has no mandate to review its procurement procedures

As local entrepenuers are still pressing for fair competition bidding in tenders, the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has argued that the Indigenous Businesspersons of Association of Malawi (IBAM) has no mandate to review procurement procedures being followed by the utility body.

Escom PRO Kitty Chingota

Escom PRO Kitty Chingota

Mlombwa: Ibam concerned with Escom's favouritism on foreignors

Mlombwa: Ibam concerned with Escom’s favouritism on foreignors

Escom has, however, advised IBAM to channel their concerns over Public Procurement Act’s deficiencies to the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP).

IBAM wrote Escom on June 10 2015 seeking to review procurement procedures being followed the Corporation and other government departments.

President of IBAM, Mike Mlombwa stated that review meetings may help address a number of queries being raised by the public against some of the government departments.

Initially, IBAM members have been accusing Escom flouting procurement procures and that its officials demand hefty upfront commissions from the bidders and this conduct disadvantage local investors as businesses of Malawians or Indian origin have got an urge over indigenous business operators.

IBAM then penned Escom seeking an audience with the Corporations Chief Executive Officer, Procurement Team and other Senior Officers in the quest for fair competition from the utility service provider.

“Following a number of complains that IBAM has been receiving from its members and other stakeholders on public procurement issues, we have decided to carry out a review of procurement procedures which are being followed by Public Institutions and government parastatals.

“Your Corporation has therefore been chosen as one of the first institutions that IBAM would like to visit. You will understand that this process will also help to maintain your good image in procurement practices despite what the public and the media have been speculating against your procedures,” reads the letter in part.

The letter further says the outcome of the review meetings may have cleared Escom’s image from the public on procurement procedures.

However, the Corporation responded—in a letter dated 12 June 2015 and signed by a Mr. J.M.K Banda—that procurement procedures in Escom are governed by the law and its subsidiary legislations.

Banda also observed that IBAM has no mandate to review the Corporation’s procurement procedures.

“The Business Community can propose review of procurement procedures through the responsible office that is mandated by the law, the Office of Director of Public Procurement.

“Review of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) or Desk Instructions is the mandate of the administrator of PPA and recommended promulgation of procurement regulations among others is the office of the Director of Public Procurement, Section 4 and 43 of the Act,” explained Banda in letter sourced by Nyasa Times.

But speaking in an interview Thursday, Mlombwa wondered why Escom do not communicate to the unsuccessful bidders the grounds for the rejection of their applications.

“If they are governed by the laws, then why Escom sit on the results when other procuring entities do place the results for both unsuccessful and successful bidders in the daily papers.

“We therefore ask Escom to publicize the results the International Competitive Bidding and National Competitive Bidding. Our members would also like to know the criteria you use to award contracts to foreign companies,” said Mlombwa.

The tenders in question are NCB—Reference No ESC330/NCB/G/FY2014-15 and ICB—Reference No ESC198/ICB/G/FY2013-14.

He then reiterated that government—through the ministry of trade and industry—should considers local investors by putting in place deliberate policies that would see them getting more support by being given contracts through fair competitions.

“The Act prescribes preferences for local bidders, but the ODPP, in their wisdom, choose not to follow that.

“We need economic empowerment policies that would see local investors dominating in these bidding processes,; We ask government through the minister of trade and technocrats and the ODPP review the Act so as to deal with the deficiencies we are experiencing,” said Mlombwa.

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Let us not do the IdI Amin Dada but the Nigerian way. Stop buying goods and hiring services from Asian and all other Foreigners . You will find that they will close their busineses bcoz of luck of customer support. However fellow Malawian business fellows should stop giving us a law deal. Supply genuine goods and quality services to win the heart of fellow malawians.
I for one i stopped buying goods from Asians. Breakfast i eat mbatata ,m irish or rice to promote malawians


APM is corrupt and so are all parastatals.The habit of giving contracts to Indians will never help alawi.Mwenye samapita kumaliro a mmalawi.So why give them business.You dont even inter-marry with their daughters.They use Malawi as a CONDOM.Lets wake up and send them packing.

My biggest question has always been- why is is that from Haile Sellasie to Limbe, there is no Malawian shop along the High way.From Area 47 to Biwi,there are only abut five buildings belonging to Malawians the rest belong to Indians, why is this so?Dont give them business chonde you corrupt politicians and statutory corporations.


Mlombwa is right , most parastatals are like that, very corrupt they want kick backs from bidders .


odpp is a sleeping duck. This rubber stamp office should be closed down and save tax payers money. They collect fees every year and since the time of inception, they cannot even manage a website. Shame on them

Chuka Must Go

Malawi in big shit. The VP we luck love as Malawians. With or without lamulo common sense tells you mmwenye simbale wathu. Munaona amwenye angati kumalilo a anthu akuda. Amwenye adzapita ku malilo a Kandapo? Tiye nazoni. Mlombwa akakupatsa tender ugula Range Rover ndiye ubowa pa town. Mmalo mongoti a Mlombwa mukawina musatiiwale ka corolla. Njala Nthenda Nsanje (Tripple N)

Rift valley

why do you pay ‘hefty upfront commissions? Just report the culprits to ACB. This is one of the problems with some local equipment suppliers.

IBAM. You are fighting a justified battle but channel your blows to where it matters, where procurement policies are made and enforcement done. And STOP cashgate, its your membership that are part of cashgate as well not to mention substandard work done. Do you ever remove a member from your organization for unethical behavior? I doubt. You have also pointed out limited resources as a challenge, much as it is true, it is a norm for Malawians not to pool resources together when bidding for large contracts. Instead, you are quick to cry foul when the you miss out on… Read more »
viyazi tembo



ESCOM must FULLY comply with the legal requirements in as far as procurement is concerned. Let them publicise the results just like other public entities do eg Roads Authority when awarding contracts. The requirement for transparency does not need modifications to the act but rather adherence to the current act.


insititute commission of enquiery

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