A complaint was lodged with the Bureau on Titus Mtegha’s dealings in relation to a contract being implemented by his organisation
By Deogratias Mmana:
Details have emerged that the Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) Chief Executive Officer Titus Mtegha is under Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) investigations for conflict of interest in the Karonga Town Water Supply Project.
Last week, we reported that Mtegha has rented out his two lodges to China State Construction Engineering Company, a contractor hired by the water board to handle a $26.7m (K22bn) Karonga Water Supply Project.
Documents we have seen show that a company called Road Engineering Contractor (REC), subcontracted by China State Construction Engineering Company, also reported Mtegha to the ACB for conflict of interest.
The subcontractor is further asking ACB to investigate how China State Construction Engineering Company was awarded the water project in Karonga.
REC is subcontracted to supply gravel stones, quarry aggregates and steel for the water project, according to its letter addressed to ACB.
The letter from REC, signed by its director Wavisanga Silungwe, and addressed to ACB Director General, is dated November 10, 2021.
It has the headline: “Complaint: Request to probe Karonga Water Town Project — The award of contract to China State Construction Engineering Company Limited and the eventual conflict of interest by Northern Region Water Board Management within the project.”
The letter reads: “The Chief Executive Officer of NRWB Eng. [Engineer] Titus Mtegha has rented out three of his properties namely, his house next to Hon Benard Mwakayileke’s House- Karonga New Town, which is used as a lodge and main office of the contractor; his Mphiri Lodge next to New Apostlic Church in Karonga and finally his Mphiri Lodge opposite Wezi Clinic behind Katoto Secondary School,” reads the letter.
But Mtegha disowned the house in an interview with Malawi News.
The letter also addresses another issue to do with non-payment of some money to the subcontractor.
But it has this ending: “It is in [against] this background that we would like your office to urgently investigate the following: how China State Construction Engineering Company Limited was awarded the contract; the Eng. Titus Mtegha’s conflict of interest.”
In an interview, Silungwe confirmed reporting Mtegha to the ACB. He added that he also informed the NRWB Board Chairperson James Munthali about the development.
NRWB spokesperson Edward Nyirenda confirmed that the conflict of interest issue was reported to the ACB.
And in an interview yesterday, ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala also confirmed that the bureau received the complaint in December last year.
She said investigations are yet to start.
In an earlier interview, Mtegha said he declared interest in the project. But details show he did so after the commencement of procurement processes, which is a violation of the law.
Malawi Institute of Procurement and Supply (MIPS) faulted Mtegha for declaring his interest after the commencement of the procurement proceedings.
MIPS said Mtegha would have faced disciplinary action if he was a member of the institute.