The Tonse Alliance-led government has taken a measure to check the Democratic Progressive Party-led government’s dealings by halting all contracts between the government and service providers for verification.
In a notice dated June 30, 2020 that was signed by the newly appointed Chief Secretary to the Government Zangazanga Chikhosi, the immediate suspension has been effected to pave way for a quick audit for transparency and credibility of processes and procedures.
In a notice addressed to heads of ministries, departments and agencies, Chikhosi indicated that any institution wishing to award a contract must contact his office.
The memo says the temporary suspension is made in order to carry out a quick audit of prospective contracts, to ascertain a number of things including the transparency and credibility of the process and procedures.
“This suspension is in line with the provision of the Corrupt Practices Act, Public Audit Act, Public Finance Management Act and Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act which aim at ensuring corruption-free and fair contract management and prudence in public finance management,” reads the memo.
However Chikhosi could not provide more information saying he was in a meeting.
Highlighted is a recent contract in which office of Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) on Tuesday approved K19 billion contracts with no objection for the re-construction of Mzuzu Stadium.
According to the authorisation letter reference number PPDA/03 /51 signed by Deputy Director of PPDA Irene Mlewa, the office was responding to secretary for youth who approved the constructions of the stadium with no objection.
“Reference is made to your letters ref no 51/2020 dated may 2020 and June 10 2020, kindly based on information provided, no objection has been granted for the award of contract for the construction of Mzuzu Youth Center at Katoto in Mzuzu at a contract price of K19,691 826.92,” it reads.
The intention by government to construct the stadium dates back in 2010, when Parliament approved K30 million for the project.
Anti Corruption Bureau Director General Reyneck Matemba recently wrote the Treasury requesting for payment documents from June 1 to 22, 2020 because the bureauhas information that officers in ministries, departments, and agencies have been making payments just to exhaust government funds.
“We wrote government requesting information on all payments between June 1 and 22 because we have information that public servants have been cashing money or loading in fuel cards to cash in filling station.
“We noted that government has expanded to suspending all the contracts,” he said.
Meanwhile, political commentator Humphreys Mvula applauded the decision by government to suspend contracts.
He said this is the time the new government should work with the anti-Corruption Bureau and the Financial Intelligence Authority to issue restrictions to all government institutions and banks to make any transactions.
“It is a good idea that government is putting in place measures to control Supply of good and services, the directive should include employment contracts no government official should have been signing contracts during the campaign period or after. How would someone know that the new government will like to continue with the contracts” said Mvula