Up to K135 Million has vanished from Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) after a ‘ghost contract’ to supply and deliver “developmental” calendars was dubiously given to Fattani Offset Printers, just next door to the regulator’s head office between February and March this year, Nyasa Times can reveal.
Acting with abandon and arrogance, Director General Godfrey Itaye conspired with Procurement Expert Joseph Ngalawa to strike the deal with Fattani Offset Printers, splitting the invoices into two. Invoice number 000431193 and 00043246 which MACRA paid through National Bank of Malawi cheque number 23414, dated 25 April 2017 worthy K67 500 000, totalling to K135 million. No calendars have since been supplied.
External Auditors Pricewater House who were recently digging MACRA transactions noticed that the amount allegedly for developmental calendars could not be traced since the procurement was done without following Procurement Procedures.
MACRA Finace Manager Phiilip Nakoma rejected that MACRA 2017 official calendars were printed at Fattani Offset Printers.
“There has been no delivery of any calendars to our stores department from Fattani Offset Printers. There has been no such goods delivery note issued to confirm the so called calendars were delivered, ” said Nakoma who is also the sole administrator of the accounting computer system ACCPAC.
Nakoma, however, could not explain why MACRA made two cheque payments to Fattani manually for the developmental calendars when MACRA boasts of a vibrant Accounting Sysytem ACCPAC.
He declined to comment on the matter.
Accounts Department sources inside MACRA said there were a number of transactions that were being done manually on the orders of the Director General Itaye. They suspect part of the funds are channeled to the ruling party, while some of it ends into individuals pockets.
Nakoma said all matters to do with the media were handled by MACRA Communications manager whose mobile phone went unanswered.
Itaye’s secretary could not pick her phones but the switchboard operator said the boss was preparing for a crucial board meeting to be held in Lilongwe.
“There is nothing we can do because our DG claims to be above the ruling DPP national governing council. Everyone is now living in fear as the boss has been threatening MACRA employees,” said an Accounts source privy to the transactions.
Documents Nyasa Times has seen also reveal Itaye writting his directors asking them for their comments on a request from the then Secretary for Information Justine Saidi, asking MACRA to buy two motor vehicles, yet the Ministry of Information has its own line of funding from government subventions.
MACRA bought two vehicles after Itaye signed for the invoices whose copies a whistle blower has handed to the Anti Corruption Bureau. Copies of Registration Certificates for a KIa Sorento Registration number BU5780 and a Toyota Coaster 26 seater re- registered as Civo 1 which are in Lilongwe. Nyasa Times is in possession of the copies of certificates and invoice numbers, signed by Godfrey Itaye.
Itaye has been in the news recently for having personally awarded a contract to his parents in-laws worthy of millions, a matter being investigated by graft-busting body ACB.
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