Government halts contracts

The newly elected Tonse Alliance government has temporarily suspended the awarding of contracts to individuals and companies with immediate effect to pave way for a quick audit.

A memo dated June 30, 2020 from new Chief Secretary to the Government Zangazanga Chikhosi says government wants to ascertain transparency and credibility of the processes and decisions made on prospective contracts that were approved during the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.

The memo which has been addressed to all principal secretaries and heads of departments, says the suspension is in line with the country’s legislation.

“The suspension is in line with the provisions of the corrupt practices Act of 2004, Public Audit Act of 2003, the Public Finance Management Act and the Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act of 2017,” reads the memo.

It says the legislation aims at ensuring corruption-free and fair contract management and prudence in public financial management.

The memo has advised any institution wishing to award any contracts to contact the office of the Chief Secretary to the Government.

A leaked memo dated June 30, 2020 from Deputy Director General for the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority Irene Mlewa says the authority has approved the awarding of a K19.7 billion contract for the construction of Mzuzu Youth Center.

The memo with a reference number PPDA/03/51 and addressed to the Secretary for Youth, Sports and Culture, says a “No Objection” has been granted for the award of the contract.

“You may proceed to notify all the participating bidders of your intention to award the contract and allow for a period of five days before the actual award,” reads the memo.

“Kindly note that this “No Objection” is valid for a period of 90 days from June 30, 2020 after which it may be revoked should it come to the Authority’s knowledge of the status.”

Construction of Mzuzu Youth Center has delayed since 2010 despite two groundbreaking ceremonies between 2015 and 2016.

Since 2010 Parliament has approved K600 million for the construction of the youth center but construction work is yet to commence.

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