Even after being fired by President Peter Mutharika from his position as Army Commander, Ignacious Maulana has been to meet Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe to allegedly push for payment of SF International in order for them to complete the supply of refurbished vehicles to the Malawi Defence Force, Nyasa Times understands.
SF International sourced the vehicles from ELW Global a South African company, which specializes in 2nd hand refurbished or remanufactured vehicles as per their website – http://www.elwglobal.com/services/vehicle-supply/
Sources within the MDF have told us that no Tender process was followed and there was a political directive from State House in 2012 to go ahead with the procurement of the vehicles. The deal was initially between Ministry of Defense but then moved directly to MDF.
The deal is valued at US Dollar 45 million, but after thorough investigation Nyasa Times has found out that the value of the vehicles is no more than 5 Million US Dollars as all the vehicles are between 10 to 15 years old and are refurbished.
Initially 48 vehicles were supplied, but now the supplier ELW Global is refusing to complete the supply of the balance 200 vehicles until they receive full payment from SF International, who inturn is waiting for government to pay.
SF International owner, Shiraz Ferreira, who was arrested by the Police in conjunction with ACB last year on suspicion of ‘Cashgate’ activities, had facilitated the deal and reportedly in return funded a large chunk of People Party failed election campaign in 2014.
Treasury sources said the former army- Commander Maulana has been fighting for the remaining balance to be paid, even though the Attorney General has been trying to legally cancel the deal due to non-delivery and sub-standard vehicles.
Nyasa Times has seen a copy of an internal report which was prepared by the MDF Workshop and Logistics Department in 2015 that clearly condemns the vehicles and states that they will be impossible to maintain due to a lack of technical training and spares.
Senior sources within the MDF say that the report was presented to Maulana last year.
Even after being fired from his position as Army Commander, Maulana has been to meet Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, in the past few days, demanding that SF International be paid and thereafter they will finish supplying the vehicles.
Gondwe is said to have suspected that Maulana has a direct financial interest in the rotten deal.
This is the largest in a chain of underhanded MDF procurement deals in which SF International have been involved in since 2012.
Maulana could not grant interview on the matter. Ferreira could not immediately comment.
This all comes at a time when the MDF fleet is down to a poor level of 20% and they are in dire need of a new fleet, not only for Defense Purposes but also for assisting on Disaster Relief in case flooding reoccurs as predicted by the United Nations in the past few weeks.
This comes after published reports indicated that following complaints by Malawian troops in peace-keeping missions that they receive lower allowances than envisaged, it is poor equipment that leads in cuts in the soldiers’ money during reimbursements to government as part of a larger agreement with the United Nations (UN).
Malawi government owed over 800 MDF soldiers who participated in UN peace-keeping missions about K3.3 billion following deductions made on their allowances.
MDF’s General Command and Staff Council Committee meeting recommended that government should buy new equipment and service the non-functional ones for MDF soldiers to enjoy full UN reimbursement.
MDF deputy spokesperson Captain Emmanuel Mlelemba said the Malawi army “ is currently facing is frequent servicing of its equipment.”
In 2013, Malawi entered into a $145 million arms deal then K58 billion—later slashed to K12 billion—with a South African military equipment company Paramount Group which supplied, among other equipment, speedboats, helicopters, armoured personnel carriers, grenade launchers, ammunition, and mobile field kitchens.
In the 2016/17 National Budget, MDF was allocated an estimated if K20.9 billion of which about K14 billion was for the remunerations and K6 billion for Other Recurrent Transactions (ORT).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :