Chikoti in K300m MASM scam

Medical AID Society of Malawi (MASM) Chief Executive Officer Sydney Chikoti is embroiled in a string of illegal deals and practices that seem to be draining resources from the organization, Nyasa Times has established.

A rough calculation by Nyasa Times reveals that MASM has lost or is losing close to MK 300 million. This is despite the fact that MASM suffered a loss in the last financial year.

MASM incurred a loss of MK47 million for the year ending 31st December 2010 compared to MK260 million for 2009.

To improve the situation, MASM says measures have been implemented to among other things to improve membership to enhance revenue in contributions with effect from 1st January 2011.

Chikoti: Whistle-blowers allege he is involved in the scam

“Contribution rates have been adjusted upwards and vigorous marketing campaigns have been strengthened to increase membership. The financial forecast for the year ending 31st December 2011 predicts membership growth of about 20 percent,” according to consolidated financial statements from the Society’s Auditors, AMG Global Certified Public Accountants.

But MASM CEO Chikoti is allegedly milking the organization through shady deals either on his own or with drinking partners like Jack Kamwendo who supplies anything to MASM, through his company Commercial Trading.

Chikoti is also conniving with fellow workers like by Mrs. Linda Mapemba, MASM’s Human Resources Officer, who was Chikoti’s PA but was moved after she fought at the office with Chikoti’s “close ally”, Ms Tione Moyo.

With Jack Kamwendo, Chikoti by -passed the procurement process and awarded him an inflated MK200 million contract to renovate MASM Medi Clinics but him only renovated the Kanjedza Clinic at that whopping cost.

Kamwendo owns Union Contractors and got this unadvertised tender.

According to inside sources Kamwendo supplies everything from air conditioners, wrong computers, expired cartridges and even medicines but MASM with Chikoti’s influence still pays millions.

On his own, Chikoti is using his bar called The Palace, which is housed in a MASM building to further draw resources from the organisation forcing directors to get drinks and meals with MASM paying for the bills.

Chikoti bought his official vehicle last year, a reconditioned Land cruiser Reg. No. LA 7998 from Speedy’s Limited at K11 million.

He convinced the Board that he was cutting down costs by buying this car.

“But he drove the vehicle for less than 6 months because it had lots of problems. Maintenance costs as invoiced by Chirimba garage are over K8 million,” sources confirmed.

He then convinced the Board again to have his problematic land cruiser replaced and a few months ago, he bought the latest Land cruiser VX from Toyota Malawi.

“The reconditioned one was put up in the daily papers on tender.  In the end, it was bought by Chirimba Garage at K5 million,” said the whistle-blower.

With Mrs. Linda Mapemba, MASM is renting her warehouse where they keep medicines, old files and she invoices in her maiden name, Linda Namitumbo.

“This warehouse is in Chinyonga directly opposite the newly built Catholic Church. The warehouse is also used by her husband, Mr. Maxwell Mapemba for his Engineering Company, that’s why the signpost on the gate still reads Macal Engineering, “sources confided.

Like Kamwendo, Mrs. Mapemba also does procurement for MASM and its subsidiaries’ requirements; she looks after MASM’s properties -clinics, Ambulance Company, Michiru Pharmacies, and Lake Cottage in Mangochi and guesthouse in Lilongwe.

“The lake cottage is rented from Dr Chimimba who is now based in the United Kingdom but is a relation of Chikoti from Likoma,” the source said.

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