Some State House gurus have reportedly hired a horde of mercenary scribes and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) social media enthusiasts to propagate a smear campaign against Kuwait Dynamic/Fisd joint venture, which was the lowest bidder in the controversial K10 billion Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) project.
SRWB recently awarded a contract to Alghanim International General Trading in a joint venture with Malawian firm Plem Construction at $16.3 million, leaving out a Kuwait Dynamic Limited/Fisd joint venture, which quoted the contract at $12.3 million.
If the project was to take off immediately, Malawians would have been made to cough MK1.6 billion more than what Kuwait Dynamic/Fisd had offered.
The development angered the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), which demanded an investigation into the procurement process.
Cdedi executive director Sylvester Namiwa, in a statement expressed concern that the multi-million Kwacha contract is being awarded at a time when the Malawi government is struggling to provide essential services to its citizens such as drugs in our public health facilities across the country.
Namiwa wondered why the Tonse government would allow such an extravagance at a time Malawi is struggling to offset the huge external debts from international financial institutions.
“And yet SRWB can afford the luxury of offering a contract to a very expensive bidder! It is a well-known fact that the loan for the project from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, will be paid using taxpayers’ money,” reads the statement in part.
Namiwa said it was high time the country started reducing its external debts through prudent use of funds, and not by being extravagant, thereby exposing Malawians to more untold misery.
But it has now emerged that some State House gurus have been palm oiled to propagate smear campaign against Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (Fisd).
“They are using social media to tarnish the image of Fisd. It’s very surprising that the Tonse government, whose leaders – Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima – defeated Arthur Peter Mutharika on the promise to end corruption, is harbouring corrupt officers right at the State House,” said a concerned Malawian and social media user.
Another social media user, Rodgers Kadiso, took a swipe at officials working closely with President Chakwera for lacking patriotism.
“I would like to plead with Chakwera and Chilima to dismiss officers who are bent on serving the interest of their bellies at the expense of the national good,” he said.
Speaking during a Mindset Change public lecture Vice-President Saulos Chilima delivered at Bingu International Convention Centre last Friday, Chakwera commented on the K10 billion water supply project when he appealed to Malawians to desist from social media gossip and focus on critical issues, including the tender in question.
Said the President: “When we still have young men in our universities gang raping female students or a suspicious K10 billion contract at one parastatal company to investigate or a railway project to move goods to and from the sea, we cannot afford to waste our time on social media gossip…”
The vocal civil society organisations that claim to promote good governance including the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) are silent as big money is exchanging hands.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :