Minister of Energy Newton Kambala has said National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) deputy chief executive officer Hellen Buluma is “against supervision,” saying she informed him that she was receiving threats from some officials in government, but the Minister does not believe the threats exist.
Kambala said this in published comment related to her reporting to Anti Corruption Bureau alleging attempts to interfere in awarding of oil supply contracts by the Minister Kambala, presidential adviser on strategy Chris Chaima Banda and Aford president Enoch Chihana.
The named suppliers are Orxy, Finergy, Trafigura and Sahara Energy.
Kambala said he is “very surprised” that Buluma has complained to ACB about him, saying there is no wrong doing on his part.
“I haven’t been involved in any issue that could warrant me to be complained to the Anti-Corruption Bureau,’’ he said.
Kambala said: “Fortunately, she (Buluma) told me that all the discussions were being recorded by her. She can share the information about what we discussed. When she was acting CEO, we started receiving inquiries from some bidders and I directed those people to Nocma because it was not my job. I told these people to call Nocma.”
Buluma claims that Kambala asked her to meet Chihana to, allegedly, negotiate a contract for one of the suppliers.
The Minister said Buluma informed him that she was receiving threats from some officials in government, but said he does not believe the threats exist.
“I don’t believe it’s true that people were threatening her. I asked her, did she confront these people. She could’ve reported the people to police,” said the minister.
On his part, Chihana confirmed that he accompanied officials of Finegy Petroleum, which are his business partners, but only introduced the officials and never participated in their talks or pressured Buluma in any way.
Chaima has refused to comment on the matter, saying he does not believe in litigating matters in the media.
Nocma, state-owned oil company, advertised fuel supply tender for 314.820 metric tonnes (MT) for 2020/2021 fuel supply and Buluma, who was recently removed as acting CEO, claims Kambala, Chaima and Chihana had allegedly been meddling in the tender process with “intent to influence award of fuel supply contracts to specific suppliers.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :