Macra’s Nsaliwa arrested by Malawi Fiscal Police

Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (Macra) Director General Charles Nsaliwa was on Thursday called for questioning  by Fiscal Police in Blantyre on abuse of office charges.

Insiders said Nsaliwa was picked Thursday morning by plain clothed policemen and was taken to Fiscal Police offices in Blantyrewhere he was quizzed and later ” given police bail.”

Nsaliwa has just jetted in from Qatar where he was on a working visit for the past three weeks.

Nsaliwa: MACRA boss faces abuse of office charges

Nyasa Times exclusively reported that Police Head of CID Bob Mtekama was studying a dossier of evidence of abuse of office which implicated Nsaliwa on abuse of office charges.

On Thursday Mtekama confirmed pursuing Nsaliwa but referred Nyasa Times to police public relations office.

Deputy police spokesman Kelvin Maigwa said “ Police are investigating the matter.” But declined to divulge more information.

The dossier

Nsaliwa is  said to have awarded a consultancy to a long time pal, Patrick Albert Chikumba of the Polytechnic paying him K348,000 in the process.

“The DG of MACRA awarded a lucrative contract to his long time friend, a Mr. Patrick Albert Chikumba of the Polytechnic from 30th April 2010 without following procurement procedures but by just instructing his financedirector,” reads the dossier in part.

“The work was to do a study on Utilization of ICTs Multi-purpose Community Tele-centres in Rural Malawi: Challenges and Opportunities. A payment of MK348, 000.00 was effected on 20th May,2010,” adds the dossier.

“The DG did not disclose to the Board his close past dealings and association with the Mr Chikumba. The consultancy was not openly advertised and competed for as required by the Procurement Act. The said consultancy was actually not done at all as no results have been submitted to MACRA of the study up to now,” reads part of the dossier.

Dubious procurement

Nsaliwa is also accused of being involved in dubious procurement vices.

“A Lilongwe based businessman, Dean Ng’oma, who has a brief case company called Skywaves, is a close associate of the DG. He has been awarded hugecontracts beyond his capacity. All major procurement contracts at MACRA have been awarded to him or to companies where he has acted as middle man,” reads part of the dossier.

The dossier says “Ng’oma was a middle man in a deal where Macra bought the infamous ‘Spy Machine’ and he pocketed about US$400,000.”

Nsaliwa and Ng’oma are said to have been involved in the procurement of broadcasting equipment worth K75 million and also a heavy duty generator worth K40 million which, insiders say, it could have been cheaper it were sourced from well known suppliers like Barloworld.

“These procurements raise suspicions. It is not a coincident. It is also worth noting that the same company that supplied the ‘spy machine’ also supplied the broadcasting equipment, and in both, Mr. Ng’oma, was the middleman. The close relationship between the two and other government officials needs to be investigated,” reads the dossier.

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