Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) has come under fire for awarding a $14 million contract to Sawa Group when the bidding price was $10.1 million.
The contract is for the Mzimba Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation Project.
The contract was increased by 40 percent after it had been awarded.
The development has raised eye brows.
The project has been co-financed by AfDB to a tune of $5 million (about K3.6 billion), Opec Fund for International Development for $14.85 million (about K10.6 billion) and Malawi Government, $2.9 million (about K2 billion).
Members of Parliament (MPs) in Malawi under the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security have demanded an inquiry into the contract with Sawa Group.
Committee chairperson Joseph Chidanti-Malunga said the contract should be cancelled because it has a hallmark of Cashgate.
“Why add money to the winning bid through he backdoor. These are funds which will have to be repaid,” said Malunga.
Chidanti-Malunga, who is an independent Member of Parliament for Nsanje South West, stressed that corrupt and fraudulent practice should not be tolerated to take place.
He said his committee would be interested to grill NRWB officials on how the conducted the contract.
NRWB procurement specialist Patrick Sibale argued there was nothing wrong with a different figure coming up after the bid had already been successful.
NRWB chief executive officer Titus Mtegha also defended the mess, saying the co-financier AfBD gave “no objection”.
He said Internal Procurement Committee (IPC) arrived at the contract award price of $14.7 million when the bid price was $10 million after going through “a rigorous evaluation.”
“The IPC met and got clearance from the board, then the Office of the Director of Public Procurement and then the AfBD as the donor who gave a letter of ‘no objection,” said Mtegha.
He also said Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development together with Ministry of Finance were involved “ in the whole process.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :