Khato Civils respond to Malawi newspaper allegations

Khato  Civils wishes to express its total disgust at an article that appeared in the Nation Newspaper of Thursday, March 22, 2018, in which unfortunate insinuations were made regarding the award of the Lilongwe-Salima water project and purported investigations of the same, by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Khato Holdings Executive Chairman Simbi Phiri.

Ever since the award of this contract, there have been numerous allegations and reservations by a number of parties, some of whom have gone to the extent of using mercenaries to fight their dirty battles for reasons best known to themselves. Unfortunately for them, they had no credible facts to withstand the scrutiny of the independent courts, they were dismissed and we were victorious.

We understand that the recent alleged complaint was made “anonymously” to the Bureau by obviously the same interested parties who are now running short of tactics to delay or stop the project, hence their intention to remain anonymous on such a serious allegation and are now using rogue, lone elements within the ACB this time. This is clearly a carefully crafted scheme, abusing processes within independent institutions and the media for selfish reasons.

We would like to put on record that Khato Civils and seven other international companies were invited to respond to a bid by Lilongwe Water Board to tender for a solution to address the serious water shortages experienced in the Capital City and the surrounding areas as a result of population and economic growth which has outstripped the current water infrastructure.

Khato Civils presented its bid, which was an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Financing (EPCF) proposal. Our bid was without the slightest doubt the best. Those that have any doubt in this regard are at liberty to contact Lilongwe Water Board to inspect the quality of our bid compared to the competition we had.

Those that were not satisfied with the process know the procedures they should have followed as provided for under the laws of the land. They should however not be allowed to hold the people of Malawi hostage for their selfish interests. If Khato Civils had not succeeded, we would have accepted the results and learnt from the process.

The processes that led to the award of the project to Khato Civils are above board. Khato Civils is fully compliant in its systems monitored by SANAS, ISO 9001 2015, these are international quality agencies to which we are members in good standing. This particular project bid was run by Lilongwe Water Board, monitored and approved by the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP), followed by parliamentary and cabinet approvals.

This is a big investment for the government and people of Malawi, therefore, for anyone to make such a serious allegation and claim anonymity can only lead to one conclusion, they are lying. Anybody with such allegations of national importance should be willing to come in the open and be a witness in an independent court of law. This is not the case here, why? There’s no truth to these allegations but to serve to bring our name into disrepute.

The issue on whether or not an “anonymous” complaint will be found to have the merit to lead to an investigation is a matter entirely up to the ACB based on its processes and the law of the land. We are more than prepared to fully corporate with the ACB should indeed they reach such a conclusion. As in the past, our resolve is unshaken, as Khato Civils, we will always deploy all required resources, and we have enough, to defend the integrity of the company to ensure fairness and justice. We will not tolerate or accept any unsubstantiated innuendos intended to bring disrepute to Khato Civils, its directors, stakeholders and employees go unchallenged.

We however can no longer accept any man made dirty tactics aimed at delaying or derailing the project any further, from any quarters, whether foreign, civil society, or any sources.

Malawians may wish to know that up to US$43.2million of Khato Civils money has been spent so far on the required processes precedent to commencing the project this far. We have spent this much, yet not even a cent has been paid to us. We have a contract with the government of Malawi through Lilongwe Water Board that places obligations on us under the agreement. Any unnecessary delays will be costly and unfortunately, be borne by the people of Malawi who are desperately in need of clean portable water in the Capital City and its surrounding areas.

The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), which was also a subject of contention by those who have no knowledge of where in a project’s life cycle it fits, has been completed and public comments obtained with clear favourable conclusion on the project last week. It is therefore not surprising that the projects’ detractors, who are obviously aware of the results of the ESIA, have now, this week, concocted a new trick to attempt to delay or stop the project.

It must be very clear at this stage of the project, with the amount of money spent this far, by Khato Civils, we will not allow our money to go to waste. We will fight these detractors, foreign or local in the courts in Malawi, any court anywhere in the world or in any forum of their choice.

Project financing arrangements are currently underway with due diligence being performed on the funders. A number of funding options and funders are also being looked at concurrently. The construction section of the project will commence as soon as financing arrangements have been completed.

Khato Civils wishes to assure Malawians, that they will be proud of the quality of works of construction (which is the last section of the project). They will be very proud to have a project delivered to international standards by a company owned by one of their sons of the land.

Our detractors thrive on the myopic concept that a black owned company is incapable of delivering international quality works, which they believe can only be delivered by companies which are foreign or white owned. Any success, by a black owned company is associated with corrupt or fraudulent elements. We are not a mediocre or briefcase entity, Khato Civils is a multi-racial company with international reputation of delivering quality works that surpasses other international construction companies. We have a track record of delivering international quality works in South Africa and other countries in the SADC in record time, exceeding our client’s expectations.

Khato Civils has participated in numerous bids in South Africa and the region. We have lost some and won several. For those that we have won, our delivery has been nothing but the best quality, for which we remain proud of, with completion certificates as testimony of our excellence. We will do nothing short of this in Malawi.

For Malawi to develop, we as Malawians should take charge of our destiny, as this will remain our country, to be developed by none, but ourselves. We must desist from allowing foreign elements and or their agents, use government institutions, civil society or any Malawian organization to fight amongst ourselves for their selfish interests. This project is a Malawian project, will benefit Malawians, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for years to come.

We wish to assure all Malawians that Khato Civils will undertake the project to the satisfaction of all stakeholders and the benefit of the country.

  • For all further inquiries, contact the chief executive officer, Mr. Mongezi Mnyani on +27826025358 or email [email protected]
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Hatton
Guest

It is normal practice to invite bidders to attend and observe the opening of the tenders in the name of transparency. In this regard it is not strange for Khato to know the number of bidders and even their quoted prices. This is public information and not privileged information.

Anaphiri
Guest

How does Khato know how many bids were submitted and let alone the quality of the other bids? Did they also help evaluate all the bids? As a contractor, its not up to them to argue for or against the project, that should be for the owners of the project-the Malawi people. Khato is obviously qualified, but this is a huge investment and a burden to all citizens to repay loans in future (tax burden for generations). So they should not get entangled in national politics

#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest

Good question and great insight. How does Khato Civils know the quality of other competing submissions??

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Guest

Really!. Rogue, lone elements within the ACB, Really?

Terranullis
Guest

And some more information. Good luck to Khato Civil.

http://www.sundaystandard.info/dodgy-dodgy-…mirror-wall-say-truth

Terranullis
Guest

Just for some background information.. to help us make our own judgements..

https://city-press.news24.com/News/r170m-and-still-no-water-20160314

Listen and Love
Guest
Khato Civils , with the Supreme Court judgement in your favour, you don’t have to waste time on empty noises from some useless anonymous detractors who don’t wish Malawi well. This Lilongwe- Salima water project has power to transform the livelihood and entire economy of Malawi. I sometimes wonder why some people hate good things in life. You detractors want to frustrate the project, yet you want to drink cleanest water on earth, how crazy you are with your unpatriotic and evil intentions! IN FACT MALAWI NEEDED THIS PROJECT TEN OR TWENTY YEARS AGO! A KHATO GWIRANI NTCHITO MWA LUSO… Read more »
#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
Whilst I do not condone corruption, I need to raise a disturbing trend ,that if left unchecked, may just destroy the very fabric that binds all of us citizens. I have noticed, with concern, that every time a Malawian company is awarded a high value tender we tend to raise to raise our voices from the rooftop; and in most cases dragging the winning bidder to court. Khato Civils is no exception. I am sure if the $500m Waterway project was awarded to Mota Engil, we would only hear muted and inaudible voices with high likelihood of the project going… Read more »
Billy Chilewani
Guest

A Khato Civils bring us water from Lake Malawi to Lilongwe. Leave the dogs to keep on barking. This is Malawi. Even if you build a project benefitting many only a few will say thank you BUT after some years they come to accept the truth. Do not be discouraged ” NSANJE” is killing our mother Malawi.

Terranullis
Guest
Very good points Bwana. But I think you posted perhaps in the wrong order. I don’t think it’s a question of ‘jealousy’ against a Malawian-owned company as compared to a ‘white-owned’ company. With, for example, Mota-Engil; Certainly there would have been the same questions you have raised about the feasibility of the project, and the Enviromental Impact Study and so on. Perhaps we are a bit louder when the owner shares our skin colour. White or Indians or Chinese are no more trustworthy or competent than a local Malawian owned business. The same points about the feasibility of this project… Read more »
#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
Agreed that the project may likely be technically flawed. The question therefore should then be; who within the Water Board signed off the Technical Specifications and Cost Estimates. Why did they award it to Khato Civils. I therefore wish to conclude that the fault lies with the LWB Procurement Team/Tender Committee and certainly not Khato Civils, which I guess just took advantage of internal weaknesses like all other contractors (foreign or local). Chasing Khato won’t solve our problem. Corruption lies within the govt and parastatals ranks. The reason why I raised the issue of our tolerant behaviour towards foreign vs… Read more »
Terranullis
Guest
Totally agree. However it is too easy for us to point out particular projects or contractors. Sadly, most of us have become resigned to the deep-rooted corruption in our government and more especially in the para-statals. Escom, Water Boards, Admarc.. I think one key reform was brought to light recently… the boards of these institutions should be independent. Amend the law so the State President is not the sole authority to appoint these Boards. They can be nominated by a cross-section of stake-holders; the president, parliament, industry and corporate bodies, consumers and civil society groups. Sadly, who will stand up… Read more »
#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest

Indeed, board appointment process has to be reviewed, as per recommendations contained in the Public Reforms Program. Unfortunately DPP is still practising patronage politics. The president has to reward those that supported him into power. He does so in various ways, including making appointments in parastatal (boards executives) and other key govt positions. Unless citizens push for relevant and progressive laws (to be passed) politics of the stomach and therefore patronage will still rule.

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