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Parliament wants police food supplier stopped

The Public Accounts Committee (Pac) has recommended that Pioneer Investments, a food supplier to the Malawi Police Service, who demanded a K500 million in interests payment, should be banned from supplying the police.

Pioneer Investment claimed the payment of K567.8 million as interest for the food supplied between January 1 2016 and June 30 2017.

Pac Vice Chairperson, Kamlepo Kalua, said the findings in the yet to be submitted report show that there was no need for Pioneer Investment to claim such an interest.

Without pre-empting the report, Kalua said the company is supposed to be stopped from supplying any goods and services to the government.

“These people should be stopped. They should have put a ban on them, for the time being, until further and detailed

investigations. They should not be dealing with government so that at least these people should account for what they did. They should be suspended until the final report is presented in Parliament and the way forward is found,” Kalua said.

He described the deal as another form of Cashgate.

“Tenders were not properly done and the tender documents were not clear on the issue of an interest that they actually charged the police. There were a lot of contradictions and there are a number of issues that we raised and needed to update people of Malawi because it was quite unusual for them to charge over K500m on something that they were paid for in advance,” he said.

Kalua said the committee failed to report its findings and recommendations to the plenary during the February 2017/2018 Mid-Year Budget Review meeting but hopes time for the presentation of the report will be created within the just opened budget meeting.

The payment for the contract is said to have been done, excluding the claimed interest which was charged because Pioneer Investment had secured bank loans to buy the items.

Initially, both the Malawi Police Service and the office of the Auditor General justified the claim but later said it was not warranted but the food supplier insisted the Police Service is supposed to pay.

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