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Parliament suspicious of K2 billion HTD car deal

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (Pac) has said it is ready to probe HTD’s vehicle supply contract to government worth around K 2 billion.

HTD, the sole franchise dealer of KIA in Malawi, has been supplying government departments with vehicles since 2009 but the parliamentary committee is suspicious that procedures were not followed to structure the deal.

Pac vice chairperson, Kamlepo Kalua, said the committee is seeking answers on a deal whose tender documents the committee has never seen.

Kalua said the deal, which is said to have run between 2009 and 2015, may have been done contrary to the law.

“If at all they have tender documents, then we don’t have any problem…,” Kalua said.

In an emailed response, HTD Limited Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Anwar Sidik, admitted that between January 2009 and 2018, HTD supplied to government departments vehicles valued at no more than K2 billion.

“We hope that you will appreciate that HTD supplies government departments based on orders received. Where government departments are subject to any procurement requirements, those departments would know such requirements and how they addressed those requirements,” Sidik said.

But Pac plans to institute a public inquiry to ascertain how the deal was won and what other companies competed and failed for the government to consider HTD as the best bidder for the deal.

Kalua said the laws are very clear that anybody winning a contract should do so through a competitive process.

“Being in billions, we cannot let it free like that. We have to trace, we know and inspect their tender documents and how they won that tender and from there we can verify with the Auditor General that indeed they satisfied the structure of the law…,” he said.

According to Kalua, the committee is yet to set the date for the meeting with all parties involved in the deal.

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