Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) says it is investigating Technobrain, the supplier of Malawi passport books, over the 250 blank passports that went missing last year.
ACB director general Reyneck Matemba informed Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority in a letter seen by Nyasa Times reference ACB/ADM/25 dates December 72018 that Techno Brain is “under investigations” by the graft busting body in relation to the procurement of passports for the Immigration Department.
“ We are yet to conclude the investigations as there are outstanding matters that we referred to our collegues at the Malawi Police Service for verification,” Matemba informed the Director General of Procurement.
In another letter seen by Nyasa Times dated December 13 2018 reference TBG18/ML/T-EP/12/001 by Techno Brain to ACB, the company asked the bureau to confirm what it terms “unqualified rumour” that it is under investigations.
In response, ACB boss confirmed to TechnoBrain that indeed the company is under investigations.
Sources at Police said the investigations were at advanced stage but hampered by alleged interference of Techno Brain through its political connections to suffocate their work.
The issue of missing passport was first exposed in Parliament by an opposition legislator, Harry Mkandawire, who wanted minister of Home Affairs to explain what measures were being taken on 250 blank passports that went missing at the Immigration department.
An investigative team that Home Affairs Ministry set up travelled to South Africa where a Nigerian was arrested earlier with a fake passport gave serious revelations about involvement of some Immigration officials.
Mkandawire, member of Parliament for Mzimba West (Malawi Congress Party – MCP second vice president), raised the alarm in Parliament that on December 9 2016, the Department of Immigration received a consignment of passports from Technobrain, whose quantity had one box containing 250 blank passports missing.
He said a stores clerk refused to sign for the consignment, but the chief Immigration officer Masauko Medi signed for the consignment even though one box was missing.
The legislator told Parliament that the missing serial numbers of the box were from MW853501 to MW853750, adding that it was later discovered that one of the missing passports, numbered MW853507 was issued to the Nigerian who posed as a Malawian from Mangochi.
Mkandawire said the Nigerian en-route to UK and smuggling goods, used the name Vincent Banda and was arrested in South Africa.
Government informed Parliament that passport numbers MW853501 to MW853750 had been declared null and void.
There has been alot passport scandals involving Immigration Department on one hand and Techno Brain on their other.
In recent years, the Malawi passport has emerged as one of the most porous documents within the region with hundreds of foreign nationals, mostly Nigerians, having easily obtained it for illicit deeds.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera requested for more time to get details on the Fiscal Police’s independent probe.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :