Government to identify a local passport contractor within 30 days

The Minister of Homeland and Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda, has disclosed that the government will source a local supplier of passport books within 30 days to replace Techno Brain Malawi whose contract has been terminated unceremoniously following allegations of corruption.

Chimwendo Banda, who jointly addressed journalists with the Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda in Lilongwe on Friday, stated that the government wants to prioritize a local contractor as a cost-effective measure, among others.

Chimwendo Banda (left) and Chakaka Nyirenda addressing journalists in Lilongwe on Friday

“We have started the process of identifying the new contractor by following all procurement processes, rule of law as well as being transparent and accountable,” he said.

He also said government has opted for a local contractor to embrace the issue of ensuring that there is value for money for the benefit of Malawians.

Chimwendo Banda added that with a local supplier can also be an opportunity to relook at the fees Malawians are paying in line with Tonse Alliance promise but guided by the cost of production by the new contractor.

Tonse Alliance in their manifesto promised Malawians that they will reduce passport fees to K14, 000 from the current K90,000 for a normal passport.

Be assured that government will make every effort to ensure they provide quality services to Malawians, he said

“Let us not panic during this transition process,” he said. He further said Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services will continue issuing passports but not at a normal rate.

In his remarks, Chakaka Nyirenda clarified that the termination of a contract with the company was within the government’s mandate since it is entitled to end such contracts.

“This contract was signed by mistake as it did not follow proper procedures,” he said.

He said government has come to the decision after a by thorough research and investigation that the company was in breach of contract.

The company entered into contract with government on March 22, 2019 to upgrade Passport Issuance System (PIS) and introduction of electronic passport.

The contract was designed to run for 42 months for PIS installation and 36 months passport issuance at the cost of $60.8 million.

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