South African-based firm, Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) has come under heavy fire from Malawians for their intended hostile takeover of the management of dialysis machines and units in the country.
Their intended monopoly, however, has come at a cost as voices from near and far are against the move citing it as unfair and against best business practice.
Documents in Nyasa Times possession and supplementary information from reliable sources within the health sector indicate that the company seems not satisfied with an already existing deal they have to manage the dialysis machine at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre.
Over the past few months, Fresenius has gone flat out to soil the reputation of other service providers with an aim of facilitating a change in other referral hospitals in the country.
It is reported that some local companies competing with FMC have fallen victim to coordinated mudslinging and character assassination. This is said to be part of Fresenius’s persistent scheme to push everyone out of the market place.
Tactics used for this cause include media capture to publish stories with half-truths positioning the local companies as incapacitated to undertake their task.
More shocking is that this conduct has facilitated the gravity of corrupt practices within the government system where some officers are reported to have received bribes to disturb existing contracts and rope in Fresenius as an option to manage dialysis machines both at QECH and Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH).
There are serious fears that the South African based German company is planning a complete takeover as they are, through corrupt and unregulated means, pushing to win Mzuzu Central Hospital and Zomba General Hospital as well.
Meanwhile, some officials are being arm-twisted to throw out a directive by Director of Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) advising against use of single sourcing procurement method to hire controversial firm Fresenius.
One of Malawi’s whistleblowers on social media under the alias of Mulotwa Mulotwa, recently blew the cover over Fresenius’s shady dealings.
He points out that some dew officials together with a couple of kidney association members – probably under the influence of kickbacks – are creating a deliberate emergency at the facility to warrant shortcuts in awarding Fresenius a deal at the expense of others.
“Interestingly, the merry – go-round between PPDA & Ministry of Health to award contract to Fresenius to run with machines and consumables at KCH is chary. Providers of dialysis services to the public sector need to compete so as to remove the creation of monopoly by any company which might resort to extort the Government for lack of choice,” explains Mulotwa, a renowned Facebook influencer who is also a newspaper columnist.
The whistleblower notes that the cosmetic bone of contention being pushed by Fresenius through its agents at the facility is that the machines at the dialysis units are not durable and effective.
However, Anti Corruption Bureau already found out that NIPRO machines are reliable and efficient.
Nipro Kabushiki-gaisha is a Japanese medical equipment manufacturing company established in 1954.
The brand is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange.
“To imagine that procurement agencies and other officials at the hospital have now engaged a higher gear to create an emergency at KCH & kick out the Japanese brand (NIPRO) in favour of the corrupt Fresenius is ironical,” he wonders.
Globally, Fresenius has a shady track record such that these tactics are nothing new.
In 2019 the firm was fined $231 million for corruption in their winning of contracts in the United States and they paid the fine without dispute, a clear indication of accepting guilt.
It is also reported that the company has been winning contracts in other African countries through fraudulent means.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :