HRDC cautions Malawi govt over ‘corrupt’ dialysis clinic operator Fresenius Medical Care

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has said the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) should investigate a dialysis clinic operator Fresenius Medical Care over  allegations that the company paid bribes to in several countries  to win or retain business including  Malawi’s Ministry of Health which offered it a K262 million three-year contract to supply dialysis services to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe.

Trapence: Fresenius has a bad record of corruption
Fresenius has ben supplying dialysis unit

HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence said the company should be investigated in Malawi  following allegations that the US  Department of Justice ordered it, in March 2019, to pay a fine of $231 million for violation of provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Trapence said it  is high time that institutions such as Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) before contracting,  they should have have due deligence to some of the companies that come to Malawi  such as Fresenius Medical Care  which  admitted that it doled out bribes to officials in 13 countries including Angola, Morocco,  Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gabon,  Cameroon, Senegal, Saudi Arabia and also failed to maintain proper internal accounting control.

“Malawians want value for their money,” he said.

On December 15, Ministry of Health  officials wrote the PPDA requesting for a ‘no objection’ to award a three-year single-source contract to Fresenius Medical Care at the cost of K262 million.

In the same letter, the ministry also requested for a three-year extension of the company’s contract with Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (Qech) in Blantyre at the cost of K200 million [R3, 644,942.88] without openly tendering.

PPDA has since rejected the KCH contract proposal on the basis that the tender for the contract should have been open-source but approved the ministry’s request to extend the Qech contract by three more years.

In a letter to the Ministry of Health, dated December 18 2020, PPDA argues—in rejecting the request to expand Fresenius Medical Care’s dialysis service to KCH—that the approach the ministry took did not satisfy any of the conditions for use of the single-source method of procurement, as provided for under Section 37 (9) of the PPD Act.

“The procurement of additional dialysis equipment and supply and delivery of dialysis consumables and related accessories should, therefore, be realised through open means in order for the government of Malawi to realise value for money in the procurement.

“You are kindly advised to conduct fresh procurement proceedings for the supply and delivery of dialysis equipment and services-level agreement for the supply and delivery of consumables and accessories for Kamuzu Central Hospital,” the PPDA letter to the Ministry of Health, which Patrick Nkunika signed, reads.

It is alleged that Fresenius has doled out  bribes to officials in the Ministry of Health to get the dialysis deal extension despite even complaints of bad service they offered.

In Morocco, for instance, the department said the company paid bribes through a “sham” commission to a Moroccan state official in order to win contracts to develop dialysis centers at state-owned military hospitals.

The scheme worked by having the commission pay 10 percent of the value of the contract to the official, and the payment would be disguised as a bonus payment to a Fresenius company employee.

In addition to Morocco, Angola and Saudi Arabia, the company also paid bribes in Spain, the Justice Department said.

 

 

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Bauleni
Bauleni
7 months ago

Tonse government full of thieves, worse than Dpp. Akamazachoka Tonse tikuvala sanza

Zio ine
Zio ine
7 months ago

Not surprising involving ministry of health because Chaponda stole the republic celebration money which was cancelled

Savimbi
Savimbi
7 months ago

Ministry of Health is one of the Ministries ikutchuka ndi ma bribes. How I wish Malawians in those higher positions have human hearts, Public funds could have been saved.

David Moskowitz MD
7 months ago
Reply to  Savimbi

Dialysis is one of the more corrupt industries in the world. So are vaccines, but I’ll save that for later. The truth is that dialysis should have become obsolete a quarter of a century ago. Ninety percent of kidney failure is preventable. The few remaining kidney failure patients could get a kidney transplant. The world could be dialysis free (1). As for the trillion dollar a year vaccine industry, an over-the-counter, non-prescription molecule, quercetin, cures COVID19 symptoms quickly. The dose has to be raised every day symptoms persist. Once you hit the right dose, symptoms are gone the next morning… Read more »

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