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Beam Trust on Anti-Corruption Bureau radar

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FOUNDED BEAM—Mutharika

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has confirmed ongoing investigations into a garbage collection contract Blantyre City Council (BCC) awarded to former first lady Gertrude Mutharika’s Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust.

It is alleged that the contract was awarded without following procedures.

The contract, signed in 2017, allowed Beam Trust to lease out two trucks to BCC at a cost of K60,000 per day as refuse collection vehicles.

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The trucks were a donation from the People’s Republic of China to the charity organisation, which the former first lady founded.

In a written response, ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala confirmed that the graft-busting body was investigating the matter.

“The bureau is still conducting investigations in relation to an allegation that Blantyre City Council awarded a contract of garbage collection to Beautify Malawi Trust without following procedures.

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“The bureau is making progress on the investigations and is hopeful that they will be completed soon,” Ndala says.

When contacted, BCC spokesperson Anthony Kasunda refused to shed light on the matter.

But Kasunda was quoted in The Nation as saying the contract was governed by a standing agreement as there was no formal contract for the leasing of the two trucks.

Beam chairperson at the time Dingiswayo Jere also asked for more time to seek clearance before commenting on the matter .

But he, too, was quoted in The Nation as saying that the two sides signed the agreement in 2017 at the fee (of K60,000 per truck) which he said was so little.

However, sources have told The Daily Times that BCC has not been using the trucks since the Democratic Progressive Party was booted out of government.

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