The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) has suspended three firms from tendering for government businesses over misconduct on procurement and provision of Covid-related products and services.
Another firm has been given a stern warning.
An audit conducted on how K6.2 billion Covid fighting money was used exposed how some companies and individuals squandered part of the money meant to help in the fight.
According to a statement from PPDA, the decision follows disciplinary hearings held by the authority recently.
“The debarment means that the concerned companies and individuals are excluded from participating in any public procurement proceedings for the entire period as stipulated in the decision of the review committee,” the statement reads.
Stamile Dealers has been debarred for three years, Memory Mhango for two years and Niya Enterprises for four years and PES has been written a warning.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) was pushing for punishment of firms found guilty.
HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence hailed PPDA for the stance but was quick to call upon it to go beyond and debar other companies and individuals who have been defrauding Malawians in other awarded contracts.
“HRDC is calling upon PPDA to conduct comprehensive audit of all companies who have been defrauding Malawians by flaunting procedures. This is the right time to send a strong message,” Trapence said.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.