ACB acts on HRDC exposure of suspected $1.5m corrupt deal at Ministry of Agriculture 

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.

Trapence: HRDC whistle-blowing
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.

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The Knight Templar
The Knight Templar
1 year ago

HRDC still trying to be relevant. Much as it is good to fight the evils of corruption, but this tendency of ACB being swayed left right and center by HRDC is worrisome. It seems the ACB is no longer operating independently but rather answering to HRDC (a Tonse Alliance political weapon masquerading as Civil Society). So all it will do is to fight political opponents. Actually this HRDC was supposed to be at the fore of fighting for the rights of women given the present disregard of the president. As a Human Rights organization this is their first mandate, but… Read more »

Zio ine
Zio ine
1 year ago

They have done so with many cases but many have ended in deadlock or have not started at all. Matemba is just a mere noise maker who wants to get the attention of Chakwera so that his contract at ACB is sustained. Since he took over from Kondowe he has concluded only one case which was started by Kondowe but nine of his own cases

Gwinyu
Gwinyu
1 year ago

Its sad that ACB has issued this restriction notice. That said, ACB should timely investigate this issue because the development of the system is using resources from AGCOM project which is time-bound. Any delays, will deprive Malawian a chance of being served with efficient and efficient land administration services considering the issues of land. Otherwise ACB, together with HRDC, will be wholly responsible for the time wasted when the truth is revealed. I rest my case

Chonzi Norman Gondwe
Chonzi Norman Gondwe
1 year ago
Reply to  Gwinyu

Shame on you thieves, you’re heartless

Adzonzi
Adzonzi
1 year ago

AGCOM is the World Bank project and procurement follows World Bank guidelines which are very tight for those things to happen. I therefore strongly doubt the credibility of all these allegations. I like the initiative of whistleblowing but perhaps its very important for HRDC to be firstly consulting the parties involved atleast to have an informed position to avoid taking baseless allegations to ACB which is already overwhelmed with cases. I saw on social media, a letter from HRDC to ACB ,on the same, which had Sivan Design as a successful bidder rather the Spatial Dimension. They had to withdrew… Read more »

Mulomwe Ine
1 year ago
Reply to  Adzonzi

Is AGCOM project a grant or a loan to MW Government? Which ever the case, ACB has the right to probe everyone including development partners.

Experts in IT in a developed country
Experts in IT in a developed country
1 year ago

Malawians were a joke and poor indeed. Land Information Systems we have developed in other countries cost $3 million and above. Check with any genuine IT guru. The price is much lower in my view

What is World Bank saying, they have supported development these systems in many countries. Rwanda’s systems was developed with support from DFID and it was expensive but there was value for money. Rwanda is using automated land record management system-LIS.

Bakanganani kumudziko mukhalira yomweyo

MAYIKO AMBIRI KUNO HAVE AUTOMATED LAND RECORDS

Romeo
Romeo
1 year ago

Mwapupuluma kobasi a HRDC

Zimene ndava ine, palibepo nkhani

They went ku Rwanda not ku South Africa

It was also compepitive. Kawafuseni mama Erica Maganga

Nyakwawa ku Nthalire

When I read the notice to award the contract from the social media, the following were my observation Maybe you have rushed to take these steps of stopping the process without crosschecking The highest bidder on that notice which is circulating was quoting $7 million which may mean this system is costly. Malawi needs it now to clean the mess in the land sector Can evaluators explain why they chose this one Agriculture Commercilization Project is a world Bank project and it means the bank has been clearing the process to this stage Will we lose the funding because of… Read more »

Patriotic Front
1 year ago

I know my colleagues went to Rwanda and Zambia last year on a study tour for Land Information Management System. It was not in South Africa. Just check their passports too

As for why it was cancelled last year, please ask them. I am sure they have valid reasons.

By the way, who were the evaluators

Observer,
1 year ago

What I am hearing is that PEOPLE have rushed to write all this. Please investigate. The World Bank could not tolerate what you are saying.Call the Evaluators, you will be ashamed. You are just listening to a bad loser. I AM TOLD EVERY TIME THE MINISTRY TRIES TO AUTOMATE, IT IS FRUSTRATED

Chonzi Norman Gondwe
Chonzi Norman Gondwe
1 year ago

A Malawi tili ndwiii anthu akutibera ndalama za chitukuko chathu. Paja timakhulupirira kuti zabwino zili kumwamba.

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