By Duncan Mlanjira
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has written a petition to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), saying it has seen a notification of the award of a contract to Grandview International of Lusaka, Zambia to supply 35 Toyota Land Cruisers ambulances.
However, 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 by the Anti-Corruption Commission in Zambia in their supply of 42 Fire Trucks at $1 million each.
HRDC says the companies that bid to aupply the ambulances were:
1. Toyota Malawi Toyota Land Cruiser $47,800.00
2. Nissan Malawi Nissan Patrol $56,241.61
3. Mike Appeal & Gatto Land Cruiser $61,384.00
4. Grandview International Land Cruiser $63,000.00
5. Med Point Dazzie Land Cruiser $64,750.00
6. Paramount Holdings Land Cruiser $65,000.00
7. ARK Agencies Land Cruiser $72,000.00
8. Skywaves Land Cruiser $77,007.36
9. Good Hope Land Cruiser $112,281.88
“As can be seen on the list above, Grandview was on number 4 and over $25,000 higher than Toyota Malawi,” says HRDC.
“It is alleged that apart from being cheaper, Toyota Malawi also offered 2 years of free service of the vehicles.”
Grandview International was also controversial in their home country, Zambia in which opposition leader Chishimba Kambwili is alleged to have referred to the company as the Guptas of Zambia due to their alleged closeness to the Zambian Presidency.
HRDC contends that given that Malawian companies were even cheaper, it is surprised that this contract was awarded to a seemingly questionable Zambian company.
“We appeal to ACB to commence the investigations as soon as possible and that the anti-corruption body will update the nation when the investigations have started,” says the letter signed by National Chairperson Gift Trapence National Coordinator Luke Tembo and regional chairpersons — Happy Mhango (North); Madalitso Banda (East); Masauko Thawe (South) and Billy Mayaya (Centre).
A report by Aljazeera then said on 29 September 2017, Lewis Mwape of the Zambia Council for Social Development, Laura Miti of the Alliance for Community Action, Sean Enock Tembo of Patriots for Economic Progress, activists Bornwell Mwewa and Mika Mwambazi and musician Fumba Chama staged a protest outside the Zambian parliament to highlight the abuse of public funds, particularly the procurement of 42 fire trucks by the state for an alleged cost of $42m, which involved Grandview International.
Their trial, according to reports, makes reference to what was commonly known as ‘42-for-42’, in reference to the fire truck purchased through Grandview International.