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Attorney General blacklists Mulli Brothers

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Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda

Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda has silently put Mulli Brothers Limited (MBL) among companies not allowed to do business with the government.

But in an interview on Thursday, MBL Managing Director Leston Mulli wondered why the AG arrived at that decision without informing the company of the wrong it has done.

Information about MBL’s blacklisting is contained in a letter dated May 12 2022 from Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) Director-General Eddington Chilapondwa to the Secretary for Health withholding a No Objection in a contract where MBL was to provide warehousing and distribution services of long-lasting treated nets (LLNS) to the ministry.

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According to Chilapondwa, one of the reasons PPDA withheld the No Objection is that MBL is one of the companies appearing on the AG’s list of firms not allowed to do business with the government.

“The recommended supplier of this service is under Attorney General’s list of firms not to do business with government until issues in question are cleared by the Attorney General’s office or else until administrative review is done,” the letter reads.

Chilapondwa adds that the proposed contract price adjustment in the mosquito nets deals from K535,500,189.60 to K1,166,473,269.24 represents an increase of K630,973,079.64, which is 118 percent and too high to justify any contract extension without first at least verifying with current market prices.

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“Therefore, please be advised that No Objection has been withheld for the proposed extension of the contract for the provision of warehousing and distribution services of long-lasting treated nets (LLNS) by Mulli Brothers Limited at a revised price of K1,166,473,269.24.

“We wish to advise the ministry to start a new procurement process to identify the service provider for warehousing and distribution of the nets,” Chilapondwa says.

But Mulli yesterday wondered why his company was blacklisted by the AG.

He said the AG arrived at the decision without communicating to the firm about its atrocities.

Mulli said the decision by the AG is a clear indication that the Malawi Government is not ready to do business.

“Look at what is happening in the country. Malawians are being denied a chance to do business with their government. This is also the case with Indians and even Europeans. So, who do they want to be doing business in Malawi?

“When we do business in Malawi, we pay tax and employ Malawians, regardless of where they are coming from, and, yet, the government thinks that is bad. How do you expect investors, both foreign and local, to invest in Malawi when entrepreneurs are treated like thieves?” Mulli asked.

When contacted Thursday, Chakaka Nyirenda said he would not comment on the issue of blacklisting Mulli Brothers, saying the letter from PPDA did not originate from him and is not addressed to him.

“How should I comment on something that is neither from me nor addressed to me?” Chakaka Nyirenda said.

Asked further about when Mulli Brothers were included on the blacklist and what sins the firm committed, Chakaka Nyirenda said he could not answer that.

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