Member of Parliament for Mzimba West, Harry Mkandawire has made another serious claim in parliament against Portuguese construction and industrial conglomerate Mota-Engil, saying the firm leased land on Northen Malawi for 35 years but has not paid anything.
“Mota-Engil leased the Northern Malawi for 35 years and it has not paid a single penny to the Malawi Government,” said Mkandawire.
He had earlier claimed that government sold Lake Malawi to the Portuguese industrial conglomerate.
But first deputy speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje could not entertain the claims, saying the weight of evidence was not credible.
Leader of the House, George Chaponda, said Mkandawire only presented a newspaper article from the Times to back his claims saying, it was undated and that the author of that article did not sign as a tru document.
“ It is saying nothing about the allegation which was made that Malawi Government has sold Lake Malawi to Mota-Engil,” said Chaponda.
“ This is a totally fabricated allegation and of no value. If we have to proceed like this then that means we are not Honourable Members and you are not fit to be an Honourable Member to represent your country,” Chaponda retorted.
Government Chief Whip Henry Mussa also accused Mkandawire of peddling lies in the House.
But Ralph Mhon, Nkhata Bay Central MP, who is also a lawyer, pointed out that it is there in black and white at the office of the Private Public Partnership in Blantyre that actually Lake Malawi Services was concessioned, that Lake Malawi Ports were concessioned, that CEAR is a concession of the Malawi Government. So many things have been concessioned in this country. “
Mota-Engil was given a concession to run water transport services and launched the $8 million [K4 billion] 120-passenger MV Chilembwe.
Mhone asked first deputy speaker to make an order that a public officer should bring documents to parliamenrt.
“ These things are public knowledge. When things are in the public domain, within the Executive or within any government department, it is supposed to be public knowledge. So, we do not have to rely on a newspaper. It is a fact.
“ So, if the Executive wants to see, the very agreement that they signed with Mota Engil for all Lake Malawi Ports, all Lake Malawi Services Vessels and CEAR, you can have it brought here. We do not have to be arguing on issues which are in the public domain,” said Mhone attracting applause.
The First Deputy Speaker Mcheka- Chilenje noted that Mhone is “a learned lawyer” and asked him follow “the right procedure” to bring the documents.
Mota-Engil is engaged in a wide range of activities associated with the design, construction, management and operation of infrastructures. It boasts a long and recognised experience, accompanied by a high level technical know-how in engineering and construction, ports and logistics, water and transport concessions and mining.
The firm started its work in Malawi in 1990 and has been involved in a number of projects. Currently, the company is constructing a railway line that spans from Moatize Coal Mine in Mozambique, passing through Malawi to the deep sea port of Nacala, which is about 912 kilometres.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :