Sunday, March 3, 2024

Malawi’s crusade against corruption: Kondwani Nankhumwa must be shivering

Kondwani Nankhumwa

The arrest of corruption kingpins should worry the corrupt gurus remaining. Highly prominent on the residue is the embattled Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice president (South) – Kondwani Nankhumwa. Particularly so because of his carelessness when he served as Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.

The comfort that engulfed top gurus of his nature deceived them into thinking that the era of accountability would never dawn in Malawi. A very well-mistaken suggestion they had! Several issues ranging from abuse of office to corruption are hanging on Nankhumwa’s head. Among such, he practically interfered in the procurement of a contractor for the construction of the Clock Tower to Kameza Roundabout Road. It is on record that Nankhumwa pocketed K1 billion from the deal that involved the contractor and Blantyre City Council.

According to the documents we have seen, the procurement process selected China Construction Company at the bidding sum of K10.5 billion. The process of identifying China Construction Company went as far as awarding of the contract by the Internal Procurement and Disposal of Assets Committee (IPDAC). Further investigations reveal that China Construction Company was informed of their successful bidding for the project through the former Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe.

However, Nankhumwa had already a deal with Mota Engil for a K1 billion cut. Mota Engil bidding sum was K11.5 billion. According to an assessment by engineers who produced the Bills of Quantities (BoQs), the project was expected to cost K9.5 billion. Despite protests from members of the IPDAC and the team that evaluated the bid documents who included external members, Nankhumwa managed to force BCC to withdraw the offer from China Construction Company and awarded the contract to Mota Engil.

Nankhumwa is said to have lied to the Council that former President Professor Peter Mutharika approved the road construction project to raise campaign money for DPP in the run up to 2019 tripartite elections. To demonstrate that Nankhumwa was not abusing his office to benefit the party, Mutharika was not aware of this plan and that is the reason he had approved China Construction Company as presented by Goodall Gondwe.

In 2018, he also dubiously bought another house Tobacco Control Commission (TCC), a Government agency, at K125 million despite being a lowest bidder among those who participated in the bid to purchase. A letter dated 17 June 2021 from TCC to Nankhumwa titled ‘Settlement Proposal on Disposal of Plot Numbers 10/470, states that the evaluation of the bids and the award to Nankhumwa was not done by the structures mandated to do so under the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA).

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