Malawi govt terminates K5bn Mota Engil contract for Nyika Road:  Portuguese contractor claims K90bn bill

Malawi government has terminated a K5.1 billion contract with contractor Mota Engil to build the Rumphi-Nyika-Nthalire-Chitipa Road  as  Roads Authority has been given  a K90 billion bill by the  Portuguese contractor  for infrastructure construction.


Deputy Minister of Transport Nancy Chaola Mdooko who visited the Nyika road projecrs on Friday also toured Chipoka Port as government seeks to revitalise water transport.Accompanied by senior officials from her ministry, the deputy minister was briefed on the advantages of water transport as compared to land transport in relation to import and export of goods.

Roads Authority is disputing the figure, saying it is on the higher side and would be engaging the Roads Fund Administration to determine the exact amount owed to engineering company Mota-Engil.

Roads Authority chief executive officer Engineer Emmanuel Matapa said the first phase of the road’s construction, covering 20 kilometres, was launched by former president Peter Mutharika in 2018, only six kilometres was partly constructed with Mota Engil attributing the development to Capital Hill’s failure to provide the contractor with resources.

Matapa said there were “some contractual disputes” which has resulted in termination of that 20-kilometre contract.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nancy Chaola Mdooko  toured the road to appreciate challenges that people  of Rumphi and Chitipa face and the need to expedite construction.

She said government will “soon`’ start constructing the road.

Currently,  Mdooko said , government has identified “some resources” to do the grading and graveling mostly in the difficult parts.

“Let me assure the people of Nthalire, Rumphi and Nyika that the Tonse government is a listening one and in six months time, the main project will start. But for the grading, it will start very shortly,” she said.

Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe said “there should be less talking, and more action” in constructing the road passes through Nyika National Park, which has one of the most beautiful and rare landscapes and wildlife.

The Portuguese firm wrote the Roads Authority demanding settlement of a K90 billion debt in form of project dues and interest on delayed payments, mostly dating back to 2008.

The company claims that it has halted several ongoing projects including procurements due to lack of funds.

In a letter addressed to the Roads Authority, Mota Engil indicates that the authority owes it the money in form of project dues and interest on delayed payments on some projects.

The letter signed by the engineering giant’s managing director, Nuno Antunes, states that most of the arrears date back to 2008.

Antunes discloses that in view of the development, the company has halted some projects that it is undertaking as it is not able to finance several activities including procurements.

But Roads Authority said that though they believe that the contractor is owed money, the amount may not be as claimed because payments have been made in the past couple of months.

Commentators have been questioning the  justification behind Malawi government’s glaring favouring of Mota-Engil, when it is awarding contracts in the road construction projects.

A  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.

The second most-favoured company, Zhajoung of China, is engaged in government road projects worth just K15 billion.

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Malawi Withu Lero
Malawi Withu Lero
1 month ago

Deport Mota Engil corrupt management

Aneneli Onyenga
1 month ago

Mukumanga nsewu ku mpoto as if anyani amakhoma nawo msonkho?? Let’s finish the Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza road kuti anthu aziyendamo.

Mzozodo
Mzozodo
1 month ago

Mwatani Kodi ankolo?

Edinah
1 month ago

Ooooh so you mean anthu a akumpoto ndi anyani?

Nepotism
1 month ago

Anyani a kumpoto amakhoma msonkho komaso ndi aja anapangitsa dpp out of govt

Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
1 month ago

Who is fooling who? If Motor Engil has all the copies of the invoices, the recon sheets detailing bank statement references to all payments made and outstanding, they may have a winnable case. I doubt if government has all these records intact on their side to counter diffensively. I say this because very often they have failed to produce evidence when taken to task by Parliamentary Accounts Committee. They have recently even failed to account for K 6.2bn for COVID expenditure.

Mzozodo
Mzozodo
1 month ago
Reply to  Mwini muzi

Treasury can release such huge amounts for Mota Engil and not keep records? Thats what you think?

Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
1 month ago
Reply to  Mzozodo

If so, why did they fail to keep them in those examples I have given?

Mzozodo
Mzozodo
1 month ago
Reply to  Mwini muzi

That was not Treasury, but the beneficiaries. Local Councils, some MDAs etc. Mukungoyankhula musakudziwa ma operations a boma eti?

Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
1 month ago
Reply to  Mzozodo

Accounting methodology still remains the same.

Magufuli
1 month ago

That place is a tourist attraction. Koma ubulutuwinansowu. It’s too much. Development means transforming a dead place to a live place. Iif roads and infrastructure is good, people will start visiting the national park including myself.

Benjones87
Benjones87
1 month ago

The limbe zomba road is very dangerous and very sub standard. Constructed by mota. Pls check before you pay.

MAGA
MAGA
1 month ago

Waste of resources kumakonza Mseu kumpoto. Who goes there? Kuthengo ngati kumenekuja. Ah mungolima wafumbi basi, invest the monies in better things.

Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
1 month ago
Reply to  MAGA

Komanso iwe! Ife tikufuna kusinthe kuti a Malawi aunjikana kumwerawa ndi pakatiwa atsamukire kumeneko kuti pakhale population balancing yabwino.

Kambewa ngozo
1 month ago
Reply to  MAGA

Idiot don’t you know that Songwe boarder is one of the busiest. If we close that boarder Mudzalira koto.

Aaron Mwala
Aaron Mwala
1 month ago
Reply to  MAGA

Umbuli wachuluka pa malawi, that’s why azungu anakulandani minda yanu yonse, inukukulembani ntchito ya ulonda ndi kutchela tea koma inu kumanyadira

reverendi
reverendi
1 month ago
Reply to  Aaron Mwala

in any country azungu amapanga settle kwabwino first. There’s a reason kwanuko sanakufune. There’s also a reason why kwanuko simumakufuna. kumangotchona kwaeni basi

'mbusa ndi wabodza
'mbusa ndi wabodza
1 month ago

What is required is a forensic audit at Roads Authority to determine the extent of actual unpaid debts owed to Mota Engil and whether the interest rate charged on the interest is reasonable. Mota Engil has been a means for successive Presidents and Ministers for briberies and corruption.

Gwemula
Gwemula
1 month ago

Awa a Tonse Alliance akuti athetsa kontalakitiyo poona kuti pali chibwana chikuchitika Kodi ndimayesa a Ishmael Wadi anali mu Administration ya Bingu and a Motazi Engini wa anabadwa mu ulamuliro wa Bingu yet simunawadzudzule nthawi yonseyiiii zolakwikazi mukuziona lero?

Mzozodo
Mzozodo
1 month ago
Reply to  Gwemula

Was it his mandate? The guy was Director for Public Prosecution

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