Government terminates contracts for Sattar’s business entities and debars them from public procurement

Following revelations of Zuneith Sattar’s procurement-related offences that occurred in Malawi for a period of over 11 years, Malawi Government has terminated all Sattar’s business entities’ contracts and debarred the British national from any public procurement.

A statement from Attorney General, Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda, says the decision comes about following revelations circulating in the print and electronic media (including social media) in relation to the investigation of Sattar in alleged corrupt practices in the procurement process of government contracts.

Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda

Chakaka-Nyirenda said he engaged with Malawi procurement entities to produce copies of contracts involving business entities owned by, or connected with, Zuneth Sattar.

Having analysed the documents he was provided, the Attorney General — in his capacity as overall principal legal advisor to the Malawi Government and on behalf of the government procuring entities — “decided to terminate all the contracts owned by or connected with Mr. Zuneth Sattar’s business entities with immediate effect”.

“This is on the basis of convenience and public interest pursuant to section 46(c) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act, 2017.

“In terms of section 46(c) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act, Government enjoys immunity from paying a supplier lost profits and any other compensation save for the payment of goods supplied or services rendered and expenses reasonably incurred.

“Payment to the said entities, if any, will be restricted to payments contemplated in section 46(c) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act.”

In addition, the AG says all companies owned by, or connected with, Sattar remain barred from public procurement and accordingly, all procuring entities remain advised against dealing with Sattar; his owned companies or companies that he has either controlling interest or minority interest.

The business entities include Molecules General Trading, Zavier Limited, Malachite FZE, Xelite Strips Limited, Top Prima Ltd and Pyrite General Trading.

“As the Appropriate Authority, the Attorney General shall constantly be engaging the British Government through normal diplomatic channels and in accordance with the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act (Cap. 8:04 of the Laws of Malawi), the Immunities and Privileges Act (Cap. 16:01 of the Laws of Malawi) and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations as well as the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to recover any money that might have been illicitly transferred from Malawi to the United Kingdom.

“The Office shall also ensure that all legal formalities including the prescriptions under the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act are followed to the letter when collecting evidence from the United Kingdom or sending evidence to the United Kingdom to avoid needless and undeserving acquittals or needless and undeserving loss of lawsuits and as a matter of compliance with the rule of law.

Nyasa Times understand that the majority of contracts affected are linked to the Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Services, Immigration and Prisons Departments who are yet to react to the cancellations as to how they are going to be affected.

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