BLANTYRE-A Portuguese owned Mota Engil Africa, which has been thriving through corruption, is under fire for violating presidential orders by not awarding 30 percent of the project cost to indigenous contractors.
Shire Times is reliably informed that Malawi Government through the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) has issued a contract stop order against the company for its failure to comply with the presidential order.
A couple of months ago, President Lazarus Chakwera ordered that all international bidders should allocate 30 percent to local contractors when accorded an opportunity to manage projects as a way of developing and enhancing local capacity to undertake maintenance works when the international companies have disappeared from the site.
But Mota Engil failed to comply with the order when the government awarded the company a contract to construct Ruo Bridge.
This did not go well with a civil society organization, Centre for Mindset Change (CMC) which took up the matter to relevant authorities. CMC threated to move the courts if action was not taken.
Commenting on the new development, CMC Executive Director Phillip Kamangira commended the government for acting swiftly on the matter.
“CMC commends NCIC for taking steps to fight the injustice that has been there for many years. The work done is commendable and this is why we as CMC questioned the rationale for the Ministry of Transport and Public Works in its decision to provide the Marka-Bangula Railway Section to Mota Engil without considering such provisions. We are happy that the Chakwera leadership is geared to fight the injustice and corruption that has rooted so deep in this country,” said Kamangira.
Despite facing a wrath from its development partners for embracing a culture of corruption, Mota Engil was a favoured company during the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Mota Engil is embroiled in a number high profile projects which cannot finish but costing taxpayers billions more than the bid price by under-pricing to beat competitors and increase prices through variations while work is underway.
In March this year, Malawi government also terminated a K5.1 billion contract with Mota Engil to build the Rumphi-Nyika-Nthalire-Chitipa for inflating figures.
Recently, construction industry magnate and chairman of Khato Civils Company, Simbi Phiri, urged governments in Africa to prioritize local firms in the continent’s infrastructure.
Phiri said foreign owned firms have always been hypocritical as they depend on the black people to do the actual job.
He further said that what companies from Asia and Europe do in Africa is stealing by draining forex from African countries in exchange of shoddy projects.