The government has terminated contracts for architectural designs for Mombera University, now M’mbelwa University, citing poor and substandard work by Clinton and Evans and Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group.
Since 2020, there have been several meetings between Ministry of Education, Attorney General, the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA), Malawi Universities Development Programme (Mudp) and the contractors on the way forward on the project.
The recent one was held on Friday last week between Ministry of Education and Transport officials, where a committee was established to push for quick construction of the institution.
Minister of Transport Jacob Hara, through his spokesperson, Kelvin Sato, said, soon, tenders will be floated for architectural designs and contractor.
“The meeting was aimed at putting in a place a working committee between the two ministries. Key on the agenda was M’mbelwa University, which was formerly named Mombera University.
“During this meeting, a working committee of technocrats from the two ministries has been put in place to map the way forward and quickly look into the issue of M’mbelwa University,” he said.
Among those who attended were Hara, Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje and Deputy Minister of Education Monica Chayanganamuno, principal secretaries from both ministries and other directors.
The termination of the contracts comes at a time an audit report of financial statements and expenditure for the year ending June 2020 by the National Audit Office revealed that the actual expenditure on Mombera University for the year was K1.3 billion.
This was in sharp contrast to financial statements from the Ministry of Education, which showed that only K231 million was spent on the project in the year.
Between November 2020 and July 2021, Ministry of Education called for three meetings with the project team under Mudp to understand the project and issues involved.
A legal opinion was then sought from the Attorney General to terminate the contract.
Commenting on the developments, Great North Transformation Movement Chairperson Kinnear Mlowoka said cancelling of the contracts is not progress.