The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has said the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) should carry out an investigation into the procurement process that led to the awarding of a contract to Jiangsu Suzhong Construction Group Company Limited by the Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) that s K1.6 billion higher than the lowest bidder.
SRWB awarded Jiangsu Suzhong Construction Group Company Limited at $16.3 million, leaving a local company, Kuwait Dynamic Limited/Fisd, which quoted the contract at $12.3 million.
This means the project will go at a cost of MK1.6 billion more than what the lowest bidder had offered.
CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa, who is becoming one of the active watchdog to the society, told a news conference that sucha. Procurement raises eyebrowsn and deserved to be thoroughly investigated .
He said the contract is being awarded at a time when the Malawi government is struggling to provide essential services to its citizens such as drugs in our public health facilities across the country.
The country is further struggling to offset the huge external debts from international financial institutions.
“And yet SRWB can afford the luxury of offering a contract to a very expensive bidder! It is a well-known fact that the loan for the project from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, will be paid using taxpayers’ money,” he said.
Namiwa says it is high time the country started reducing its external debts through prudent use of funds, and not by being extravagant, thereby exposing Malawians to more untold misery.
He acknowledges that there are some technicalities in procurement process, which enabled SRWB to award Jiangsu Suzhong Construction Group Company Limited.
He says investigations CDEDI conducted revealed that the lowest bidder has done a similar job for the SRWB before, an indication that the bidder is well conversant with the job in question, if the bidder’s track record is anything to go by.
Namiwa stresses that what SRWB has done is similar to a decision made by the Ministry of Health to award a contract to a foreign based bidder to supply ambulances to the ministry, of which scenarios, the decisions have been made under the administration of the Tonse Alliance government.
“SRWB should further consider waiving some procurement procedures to enable local contractors to have a fair share of the project by either awarding them the contract wholly, or pairing them with the foreign based contractors, in the spirit of promoting the indigenous business people, and abiding by the Tonse Alliance philosophy.”
Namiwa said is a probe into the matter is not instituted, the Malawians should brace for mote shoddy deals under the Tonse Alliance government.
In June this year, SRWB advertised a tender for detailed designs and construction works for the extension of Mangochi Potable Water Supply Project funded by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
A total of 14 companies bought the bid but only four submitted their proposals.
Jiangsu Suzhong Construction Group Company Limited made a bid of $16.3 million, Alghanim Plem quoted $14.4 million, Sawa Group/Metito joint venture priced its bid at $21.7 million and Kuwait Dynamic Limited/Fisd partnership offered $12.3 million.
A procurement specialist Amos Nyambo has since faulted the justification of the evaluation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :