Malawi’s graft-bursting body, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has cancelled a staggering K48 billion contract that was awarded to Mota Engil to upgrade the Marka – Bangula railway line over corruption allegations dealings in the awarding of the contract.
The State owned crime-fighting agency, the ACB has confirmed the development.
Egrita Ndala, ACB spokesperson, in a press statement made available to Nyasa Times said the bureau has directed the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to re-evaluate the last three bidders within 15 working days.
“The Bureau’s investigation has faulted the Evaluation Team for substantially departing from the requirements of the Bidding Document when evaluating the bids contrary to the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act and the Bidding Document for this contract,” reads in part the ACB statement signed by Ndala.
ACB further said in the statement that this makes the intended award of contract to Mota Engil without any solid basis.
The ACB, therefore, recommended that the Ministry of Transport and Public Works (MOTPW) should re-evaluate the last three bidders with consideration being made to the areas of noncompliance to Bidding Document that the Bureau raised.
“The team to re-evaluate the bids should be different from the one that conducted the first evaluation with complete lack of attention to detail to the Bidding Document.
“Having in mind the importance of this project to Malawi economy and that this project is a bilateral arrangement between Malawi and Mozambique and that Mozambique has almost finalized their side whilst Malawi has done nothing, the process of re-evaluation should be done within the next 15 days and proceed with the rest of the procurement processes according to the law,” further reads the statement.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HDRC) accountability watchdog Centre for Social has welcomed the development but quickly demanded accountability and transparency in the process.
HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence said: “We commend ACB for getting down to the bottom of the matter which has been in contention for sometime now.
“All we are asking for now is that everyone must know exactly happened and those found on the other side of the law must be brought to justice.”
The Marka-Bangula Railway Section has four stations, which are considered for rehabilitation. The four includes Marka station, Nsanje station, Tengani Station and Bangula station.
The Marka – Bangulaworks contract was awarded to Mota-Engil at the initial contract sum of U$D70,035,427.94.
The upgrade work of the railway line commenced in March 2018 and the initial period of performance was for 14 months, which implied that the project should have been completed in May.
In September, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) stopped the Ministry of Transport and Public Works from awarding a contract for the upgrading of Marka-Bangula railway over corruption allegations.
The awarding of the contract was stopped days after Ministry of Transport and Public Works published a notification for intention to award Mota-Engil a K48 billion contract for the reconstruction of the 72-kilometre railway line.
Mota-Engil emerged the successful bidder with the lowest price (K48 244 861 524.98) against two others – China Railway (K59 906 673 465.11) and China Civil Engineering (K79 766 540 032.76).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :