Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has asked Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials to stop procurement of dialysis services for the two Central Hospitals from South African company Fresenius, saying the action violates determinations of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA).
The ministry of Health intends to procure dialysis services for Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and Kamuzu Central Hospital.
In a letter dated February 17 2021, and copied to the Director of PPDA and the Ministry of Health, alleges that the ministry is reportedly coercing PPDA Director General to give the contracts to Fresenius.
“HRDC now demands that Fresenius should have no more business to transact in Malawi until it is investigated and cleared by ACB. Many other African countries are doing this and Malawi cannot be the exception. HRDC strongly suspects that some officials in the Ministry of Health are abusing their offices and powers by misleading PPDA to extend the contract for their benefits and cover up for Fresenius,” he said.
HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence confirmed writing ACB on the matter, but said the bureau was yet to acknowledge receipt of the letter.
“We wrote them some two days ago and we are waiting for them to get back to us,” he said.
ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala said she needed more time to check if the letter had reached the bureau.
“You see, the problem is that you guys, our colleagues in the media, are always the first to get the letters addressed to us. I need time to find out from the section which receives such letters if they have received the letter,” Ndala said.
PPDA spokesperson Grace Thipa also said she could not comment on the letter, only saying authorities had received it.
Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda faulted HRDC for sensationalising important issues, saying lives were being lost due to lack of the services in question.
A lot more people are dying. They are an organisation but we are a government ministry which has the responsibility of caring for its people. If they have issues, let them come to us so that we can explain to them what is happening. There are always exceptions.
“Let them go to Mwaiwathu and see what Fresenius is doing. Let them go to Qech and see what Fresenius is doing. Let them go to KCH,” Kandodo Chiponda said.