Graft-busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has issued a restriction order not to proceed with the K48 billion contract award for designing, upgrading and rehabilitation of the Marka to Bangula railway.
According to a statement signed by Principal Public Relations Officer, Egrita Ndala the bureau restricts the Ministry of Transport and Public Works from dealing with a contract following complaints of irregularities.
Mota Engil was awarded the contract but is embroidered in allegations of corruption, embezzlement and fraud in its dealings with the previous governing parties Democratic Progressive Party and Peoples Party.
“Pursuant to its powers under section 23(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act on 3rd September, 2021 the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) issued a restriction notice to Ministry of Transport and Public Works on a contract reference number MTPW/IPDC/DORS/01/2020-2021,” reads the statement in part.
Further reads the statement: “The Ministry [of Transport and Public Works] is, therefore, restricted from proceeding with the award of the [said] contract until the ACB has concluded the investigation or lifted the restriction notice.”
Mota Engil has enjoyed preferential treatment over the last 20 years, of course with no praiseworthy construction done.
Last week, Phillip Kamangira, Chairperson of Centre for Mindset Change asked government to immediately halt the contract it has awarded to Mota Engil to work on the railway line within seven days citing irregularities and poor contracts delivery.
According to the letter dated January 11, 2021, the ACB gave a go ahead to the Director General of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) to use ‘single sourcing method’ to the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to engage Mota Engil Africa to design, upgrade and rehabilitate the said railway section.
In the notification of intention to award contract, the Internal Procurement and Disposal Committee of the Ministry of Transport and Public Works says it awarded the contract REFNO. MTPW/IPDC/DORS/01/2020-2021 to Mota Engil at the cost of K48, 244, 861, 524.98.
Other companies that submitted bids are: Rail Construction/Malbro of Malawi at K60.4 billion, China Civil Engineering Construction at approximately K79.8 billion and ABD/G01den Star/Lennin JV of Malawi/Republic of South Africa at K95.6 billion.
Mota Engil is heavily involved in the railway infrastructure in Malawi with joint ownership of the then Central East Africa Railways, the concession holder. They are have billion dollars debts which former Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe on behalf of the Malawi government guaranteed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :