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PPDA eases on AIP deal row

Demands application review letter from suppliers

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KITA— The matter is live in court

Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) is setting up a committee to review a complaint of 30 companies whose Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) contracts were cancelled by Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM).

When SFFRFM cancelled the contracts, the companies asked the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority to review the decision.

The companies, through Kita & Company, then dragged PPDA and its director general to court for allegedly not acting on their application to review SFFRFM’s decision to cancel their contracts after getting a No Objection from PPDA to supply 185,700 metric tonnes (mt) of fertiliser under the Affordable Inputs Programme.

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Last month, PPDA, through its spokesperson Kettie Kujaliwa, said everyone has a right to seek legal redress or remedy when they feel injured and that PPDA would let the process run its course.

But in a letter, reference number PPDA/03/283 addressed to the companies’ lawyer Wapona Kita, PPDA Director General Edington Chilapondwa says the authority is in the process of instituting a review committee.

“I write with reference to an application for review dated 24th November 2022 which you submitted to the authority on behalf of 30 applicants who were among the 92 successful bidders in the cancelled procurement proceedings as provided in the notice of cancellation of the said procurement proceedings dated 11th November 2022.

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“Kindly be advised that the authority is in the process of constituting a Review Committee to hear your application,” the letter reads.

“However, it has been discovered that, in your submission, you did not include the application for review that you submitted to the SFFRFM which was acknowledged to have been received.

“In view of the foregoing, may you share with the authority evidence of receipt of your application for review by the Executive Director of the Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund of Malawi,” the letter adds.

PPDA further indicates that it is ready for hearing.

“I look forward to the submission of the requested information so that the Review Committee members are served with a full submission from both applicant and respondent prior to the hearings.”

Asked for his reaction to the letter, Kita said Sunday: “The matter is live in court; so, I will not comment on it to the press.”

The court set January 9 2023 for the hearing of the case.

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