The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has stopped the Ministry of Energy from awarding a contract for the supply of materials in the ninth phase of the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP).
In the restriction notice issued today, the State-funded graft busting body says the decision has been arrived at following complaints ACB has received alleging irregularities and suspected corruption surrounding the procurement process of the materials under MAREP 9.
ACB Principal Public Reations Officer, Egrita Ndala, says in a press release that the ACB has instituted investigations into the matter.
“Following the restriction notice, the Ministry of Energy is therefore restricted from proceeding with award of contract until the ACB has concluded the investigation or lifted the restriction notice,” says Ndala.
During the past Parliamentary sitting, Energy Minister Newton Kambala to the house that government was conducting surveys on the implementation of the project and evaluating tenders from interested suppliers before commencing the programme.
Kambala also expressed hope that implementation of MAREP Phase 9 would relatively go smooth following calmness in the country’s political atmosphere.
“In the past two years, we have had hiccups and the implementation has not gone according to plan because of change of government but normalcy is slowly coming,” he said.
The tender under review has been marred with corruption and some top Tonse Alliance ministers are implicated following demands that up to K30 million from tenderers while those who have refused to pay have had their companies removed.
The upcoming program will cost in excess of K20 billion which will come from the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) as the main source.
Marep was an initiative introduced during the United Democratic Front (UDF) administration.