Seventh prosecution witness in the on-going K2.4 billion cashgate case, Peter George Makanga, chief professional development officer from the Office of Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) has told the court that his office never knew Cashgate tainted contractors in case involving former budget director Paul Mphwiyo and 18 others.
He said on 6 November, 2013 he received two fiscal police officers who were asking him about procurement of two ministries, Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Tourism and the names they were asking to him were strange.
“I remember there was Dan civil engineering, Image Investments, Makhausi construction, Kanengo building contractors, Protem civil engineering, Faith Construction, Mchemani civil contractors, Standard Freight, Paool Logistics, Sky blue construction and Walusako general dealers. This was my first time to hear them and there was Stadal building contractors which was familiar name as I have dealt with it before as they had several contracts under ministry of local government but not ministry of tourism,” said Makanga.
He said the development raised eyebrows.
“ As desk officer for this ministry I was very surprised looking at the figures involved as it was more than K5 million. It raised a lot of suspicions and if at all contracts were awarded were irregular contract as it never went through my desk at ODPP as desk officer for the responsible ministry”, he narrated.
Makanga told the court that the only notable contract that went through his desk was construction of staff houses at wildlife department at several camps like Lifupa camp in Kasungu, Chinguni camp in Liwonde, electric fence construction at Vwaza, Lengwe and Liwonde national parks, Translocation of wild animals from Liwonde to Nkhotakota was the probably the biggest contra t for the year in 2013, Landscaping for Bingu International Conventional Center – BICC and at Presidential villas
He told the court that there are eight things that are needed to be done by the Internal Procurement Committee (IPC )when sending its procurement request that is over the value they are supposed to conclude at IPC to ODPP
“One it has to be accompanied by the letter of approval of procurement signed by controlling officer of that ministry, minutes of IPC signed by all members who attended the meeting, valuation of bids documents signed by all who took part in the process, bidding documents.
“ All the bids that were submitted by all suppliers/contractors, newspaper advert that was calling for bidders, minutes including a list of all those that attended bid/tender opening and any other clarifications that might have been sought during the bidding process. If the process is not followed, the whole procurement process will be irregular”, Makanga explained to the court
Makanga who during cross examination by private prosecutor Enoch Chibwana, told the court that even during Emergency procurement where by the ministry or agency just pick one supplier or contractor before it award the contract, the law is very clear that they can only do that prior to approval of office of the ODPP.
In cross examination by lead defense counsel, Titus Mvalo SC , Makanga told the court that he knew Mphwiyo as one working at ministry of finance and they were classmates at Chancellor College and play social football together and he never interacted with him professionally.
When asked if from his experience and as the process requires under Procurement Act if Mphwiyo had power to influence procurement at ministry of tourism, Makanga told the court that he don’t think it was possible for one from ministry of finance to influence procurement at ministry of tourism
Makanga told the court that from the file at his office there is no any connection for Mphwiyo with any other contractor
Mvalo asked Makanga if the contractors are civil servants and if they can know that the ministry has followed all procurement procedures, Makanga told the court that “No, Contractors are not civil servants, some would some wouldn’t know the ministry’s procurement process but any good contractor would know as we have done a lot of civic education and expect good contractor if he or she submitted a bid at some point”
He told the court that in 2013,Odoyi Kamange was assistant procurement officer at the ministry and is not among the accused person, this was in response to Mvalo questions who wanted to know if Kamange is among the accused persons in court.
Makanga told the court that he has never dealt with convict Leonard Kalonga former director in the ministry of tourism and that he only knew Bishop Tenison M’bwana who was the director of finance ad administration as well chairperson of IPC at the ministry who most of the times was signing the ministry’s letters to the ODPP
“Some letters were signed by Mr. Fletcher Zenengeya and late Mrs. Teresa Senzani, I have never transacted with Mr. Kalonga”, he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :