Authorities in both the government and non state actors in Malawi have launched investigations on a Kenyan construction company Sawa Group Limited over shoddy and substandard works it does.
The investigations border on reports that the company is too corrupt and facilitates corrupting the government officials including Ministers in the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to get contracts but subsequently offer shoddy works after sharing some of the money with the corrupt officials.
“The government received complaints from the civil society over the substandard works that Sawa Group does. This was after reports of massive corruption orchestrated by the company in paying huge sums of money to government officials and end up doing shoddy works because no one can question after giving the kickbacks,” said a senior government official close to the probe.
Among its shoddy works, Sawa Group’s multi-million Kwacha bridge over a stream running from Area 23 to Chilinde in Lilongwe melted away after just moderate rains in 2017.
The way the bridge collapsed clearly showed lack of workmanship and top class engineering forcing people to question if adequate materials were used consumerate with contract amount.
The collapse forced residents to call for government and it’s agencies to evaluate the capacity of the contractor. But no action was taken then and Sawa Group has continued doing shoddy works in all the contracts that it has with government.
However, the new government, with the civil society watching closely, is tightening the noose on the company hence the probe that it has instituted.
Sawa Group also were under the spotlight when Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) awarded it a contract price of $14.7 million (about K11 billion) the bidding price was $10 million (about K7.5 billion).
The contract in question relates to the Mzimba Intergrated Urban Water and Sanitation Project, which seeks to improve access to water supply in Mzimba town.
In December 2015, Parliament authorised the Ministry of Finance to borrow $14.85 million (about K8.9 billion at the time) from Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) Fund for International Development (Ofid) for the project with a repayment period of 20 years.