Some social commentators are groping for justification behind Malawi government’s glaring favouring of a Portuguese multinational engineering firm, Mota-Engil, when it is awarding contracts in the road construction projects.
Stanley Onjezani Kenani observes that Mota-Engil is currently enjoying a combined value of K142 billion in road contracts in Malawi.
The second most-favoured company, Zhajoung of China, is engaged in government road projects worth just K15 billion.
Kenani, writing on his Facebook wall, alleges that Zhajoung of China is another company, which is receiving enormous contracts from the authorities at the Capital Hill, Lilongwe.
“All those engineers the Polytechnic has produced since 1965, don’t they have companies that can construct roads? Then we need to question the relevance of our education? For how long shall we be importing these engineering companies, amangwetu?” he asks.
In his comment, the private practice lawyer Ishmael Wadi faults the Malawi government for allegedly promoting Mota-Engil to the level of a monopoly and has in the process killed competition and fair bidding.
Wadi – who served briefly as Director of Public Prosecution under the late Bingu wa Mutharika administration – adds that other companies like Shire Construction Limited, which he argues are equally competent and capable, have been put on the sidelines because they refused to bribe powers-that-be in government.
“Equally, Terrastone, Master Construction have been marginalized. Here I haven’t spoken of Malawi owned companies like Deco (Dini Lungu), Maluza and many others. How do you expect Malawians to excel when they are not being awarded tenders?” he asks.
Another commentator, Jones Mawerenga, doubts if the sidelining of indigenous engineering companies has anything to do with capacity.
Mawerenga thus condemns the Malawi Government for failing to empowering indigenous contractors like South Africa is doing.
“Let us borrow a leaf [from South Africa],” he urges.
Efforts to talk Mota-Engil and the alleged sidelined indigenous contractors proved futile.
Meanwhile, Nyasa Times is making efforts to talk to them in due course to find out how this has affected their business.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :