Senior Chief Malemia of Nsanje and Centre for Mindset Change (CMC) have demanded an update on the progress the Ministry of Transport and Public Works has made in identifying a new contractor to design, upgrade and rehabilitate the railway section between Marka and Bangula.
Malemia and CMC Executive Director Phillip Kamangirah, in separate interviews, expressed concerns that the delays by the Capital Hill to replace Mota Engil Africa, whose K4.2 billion contract was terminated on recommendation from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), would deny the people of Chikwawa and Nsanje of their right to economic opportunities.
ACB recently gave a restriction to Ministry of Transport and Public Works, a few days after CMC issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government to cancel the contract, suspecting lack of transparency in the way it was awarded.
It eventually recommended the termination of the contract and gave the ministry 15 days to re-evaluate bids and identify a new contractor and that a new Evaluation Committee be instituted within this period.
However, the ministry is yet to comply with the recommendation, a development that has prompted Senior Chief Malemia and Kamangirah to demand an action on the matter.
Malemia, in an interview on Tuesday, lamented that the people of Nsanje and Chikwawa have been disenfranchised for a long time because of the dysfunctionality of the railway line.
“We are commending the Bureau for terminating the flawed contract. However, we are now appealing for a speedy identification of the new contractor to do the work so that our people are denied their right to economic opportunities accruing from the railway line,” said the chief.
On the other hand, Kamangira said for purposes of transparency and accountability, the ministry should unconditionally provide a list of newly appointed committee to re- evaluate the bids as ordered and directed by the ACB.
“And this information should be provided to the people of Malawi in the next twenty four hours,” demanded Kamangirah.