Contracts to cashgate-linked Malawi companies worry DPP JULY 05, 2014 ARCHIBALD KASAKURA NO COMMENTS The question of government offering contracts to companies that are being investigated in connection to ‘cashgate’ is causing headache to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Malawi News has established. Two weeks ago the Ministry of Health published names of contractors to construct health centres in a number of districts in the Central and Northern regions, which included Ziuya Construction – a company which is facing criminal probe involving cashgate. DPP Bruno Kalemba on Wednesday told Malawi News that his office has also been discussing the issue as cashgate cases have started being referred to court while investigations are still going on. “Here at the directorate we raised this issue with stakeholders but we were told that these contracts were awarded way back before September 2013. Ordinarily, when a company is under such a criminal investigation its accounts are frozen. It is important for those who award contracts to be aware of these facts and put them into consideration when making decisions,” he said. When Malawi News followed up on Ziuya Construction, through the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC), it discovered that the company is owned by a Mr. Moyo who has not been picking up our phones until Friday. But when the subject matter was introduced he said he could not respond at the time because he was not in his office before cutting the line. When we tried to call him again Moyo could no longer pick up his phone. Questions have been raised over the rationale of one organ of the state awarding contracts to a company which another organ of the same government is investigating for criminal activities. On June 17, the Ministry of Health published a list of companies that were awarded contracts to construct health centres in some parts of the country and Ziuya Construction featured prominently on the list with six contracts. According to the list, the company was awarded contracts to construct health centres at Matekenya in Dowa at the cost K237,716,818. 5,5 Kapoka in Chitipa (K241,365,193.55), Mpata in Karonga (K101, 203,490.25) Luvwere and Mathandani in Mzimba (K238,117,599) and (K240,824,436. 81) and Kamphera in Rumphi (K240,013,943.75). NCIC Chief Executive Officer Linda Phiri said she could not comment because the cases were being referred to court by authorities. “We made a statement in which we underlined that we will not be commenting on these issues since they have now been referred to the courts to make a determination,” she said. Ministry of Health spokesperson Henry Chimbali had not responded to our questionnaire as we went to press. However, DPP Kalemba maintained that his office was making progress in as far as the cashgate cases are concerned. “The progress is that when the police and the Anti Corruption Bureau finish their investigations they bring them to us and we duly take them to court. People should be aware that investigations in these issues are still on-going,” he said. About K14 billion was either stolen or went unaccounted for from government coffers until September 2013, according to a report by British forensic auditors Baker Tilley.
Posted on: Sun, 06 Jul 2014 07:36:36 +0000
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