By Duncan Mlanjira
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has written a petition to the Ministry of Lands to provide updates on dubious acquisition of land by high profile officials.
The lands in question include Plots 1036 to 1040 in Limbe East (near Railways), which were alleged to have been corruptly awarded to an individual in Limbe and that Deed Plan No. 170/09 was allegedly forged.
“We have also received allegations that a farm, located along the road after the bridge on the right as you go to Ntaja, was donated to Machinga District Council.
“It is further alleged that a political heavy weight snatched the farm from the council without paying anything,” says the petition copied to Deputy Minister of Lands, Abida Mia and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director Reyneck Matemba.
The petition also alleges that a Guest House belonging to Ministry of Works in Chimaliro, Mzuzu was snatched by a politician without paying for it and that Mbowe Dam, which was buit as part of the Viphya Plantation Concession Plan in the Lusangazi Forest, has also been snatched by a politician without paying for it.
“We are looking forward to be updated on these cases after the investigations.”
Last week, HRDC wrote to the ACB questioning the contract awarded by the Ministry of Health to a Zambian firm Grandview International to provide ambulances at exorbitant prices yet Toyota Malawi quoted at a cheaper price at less than US$25,000 and offered 2 years of free service of the vehicles.
Land Cruiser quotation from Toyota Malawi was $47,800; Nissan Malawi’s Nissan Patrol at $56,241.61; Mike Appeal & Gatto Land Cruisers at $61,384 and Grandview International Land Cruisers at $63,000.
Others Land Cruiser quotations included Med Point Dazzie at $64,750; Paramount Holdings at $65,000; ARK Agencies ate$72,000: Skywaves at $77,007.36 and Good Hope at $112,281.88.
In the petition, HRDC reports that Grandview International is a subject of investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission in Zambia in their supply of 42 Fire Trucks at $1 million each that was investigated way back in 2017.
The controversy of the procurement of the 42 Fire Trucks was criticized heavily by Zambia‘s opposition leader, Chishimba Kambwili who is alleged to have referred the company as the Guptas of Zambia due to their alleged closeness to the Zambia Presidency.