The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has issued a restriction notice to the Ministry of Agriculture restraining it from awarding a contract to a South African company, Spatial Dimension.
The Ministry is in the process of awarding the contract to the South African for the Design, Supply, installation and Commissioning of the Land Information Management under the Agriculture Commercialization Project worth $1.5 million.
In its restriction notice issued on 5 October 2020, addressed to the Secretary for Agriculture, ACB boss Reyneck Matemba wrote: “The Bureau has instituted an investigation in respect of a suspected offense under the Corrupt Practices Act.”
ACB move follows a letter which Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) wrote the graft fighting body on 28 September 2020 raising an alarm of the contract.
Through its whistleblower initiative, HRDC told ACB that they had received allegations that Spatial Dimension does not have expertise in Land Management but their expertise is in Mining Information Systems.
“It is further alleged that some of the companies that failed in the bidding actually have the right expertise,” reads the HRDC letter signed by its chairperson Gift Trapence.
Adds the letter: “It is further alleged that initially Spatial Dimension withdrew from the bidding because of the requirement that the successful bidder should hand over the source code to Malawi Government on commissioning.”
HRDC further wrote to ACB that it is alleged that a delegation made up of senior Ministry of Agriculture officials went to South Africa and met officials from Spatial Dimension.
“Allegedly, after this meeting, the Ministry of Agriculture made changes to bidding requirement. The new requirements were favoring only Spatial Dimensions,” reads the letter.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :