60% of Government contracts to be awarded to Malawians

Kazako—It is government’s wish to see that most Malawians own businesses

* We are against predominantly few families amassing wealth

* These individuals and their families control every sector of the country

* They even have the power to control the political landscape

By Fostina Mkandawire, MANA

Government has re-emphasized the need for equitable awarding of contracts through adherence to proper procedures and vetting processes for purposes of equitable wealth distribution.


Thus Government is set to see to it that 60% of contracts should be awarded to Malawians and 40% to international investors.

This was said by Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako on Monday in Lilongwe at a press briefing held alongside Malawi’s Attorney General, Thabo Nyirenda.

Kazako said there are a few individuals who have amassed wealth for a long time in the country to the disadvantage of most Malawians and thus said it was government’s wish to see that most Malawians own businesses and are awarded contracts instead of the current scenario where international investors own a larger chunk of the business environment.

“We are against predominantly few families amassing wealth,” said the Minister. “These individuals and their families control every sector of the country — they even have the power to control the political landscape.

“We want to break this cycle of having individuals who capture this country by using their wealth as a means of controlling Malawians.”

Lilongwe interchange road built by Portuguese company Mota Engil

He, therefore, revealed that there will be need to use National Identification cards during the vetting process as a control measure of identifying an individual’s background.

“People who spoil this country do not belong here — we are not trying to be xenophobic, but we want to bring sanity in the country.

“I wish to plead with citizens that they should not be taken by events by supporting greedy people who use the less privileged to demonstrate while they are achieving their hidden agendas,’’ he said.

The Minister then reassured Malawians that the challenges being currently faced would be addressed and so should be taken as temporary.

Attorney General Thabo Nyirenda

In his remarks, Attorney General, Thabo Nyirenda said government is ready to address incidences of shady awarding of contracts and irregularities concerning procurement of government equipment.

Nyirenda cited the awarding of a contract at the Department of Immigration as an unfair deal to Malawians because passport prices are high without taking into consideration that materials for processing a passport are cheaper.

He said when awarding the contract, a feasibility study was not done and, therefore, government would probe into the matter until truth is established.

The Attorney General said there are laws that govern the awarding of contracts, therefore — if not properly followed — Malawians are the ones to suffer the consequences.


“The manner in which contracts are currently being awarded does not benefit Malawians. My office is allowed to impose restrictions in the manner in which these contracts are awarded with an aim of bringing sanity,” he said.

Nyirenda, therefore, warned that all public officers who would cause government to lose money through their negligence would be held accountable.

He reminded Malawians that negligence by a public officer is punishable by law, adding that all illegal wealth accumulation by public officers would be investigated.

The Ministry of Information will be holding weekly media briefings as one way of addressing emerging issues affecting Malawians.

Last week, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) made a landmark ruling when it cancelled a staggering K48 billion contract that was awarded to Portuguese company, Mota Engil to upgrade the Marka-Bangula railway line over corruption allegations dealings in the awarding of the contract.

Sad state of rail system in the Lower Shire

The contract was suspended by ACB just a few days after Ministry of Transport and Public Works published a notification for intention to award Mota-Engil after the company emerged as the successful bidder at the lowest price of K48,244,861,524.98 against two other bidders — China Railway at K59,906,673,465.11 and China Civil Engineering’s K79,766,540,032.76).

The ACB directed the Ministry of Transport to re-evaluate the last three bidders within 15 working days from Thursday, December 3, saying its investigation faulted the evaluation team for substantially departing from the requirements of the bidding document contrary to the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act.

ACB further recommended that the Ministry should re-evaluate the last three bidders with consideration being made to the areas of noncompliance to bidding document that the Bureau raised.

The Bureau also directed that the re-evaluation of the bids should be done by different team and set the 15 days deadline taking cognizance that this is an important project to Malawi economy which is a bilateral arrangement between Malawi and Mozambique.

Mozambique has almost finalized their side of the project whilst Malawi’s involves rehabilitating the whole section of Marka-Bangula section that includes rebuilding all four stations at Marka, Nsanje, Tengani and Bangula.—Additional reporting by Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express

Rail line from Moatize passing through Nkaya that Mota-Engil