A report has revealed a string of abuses at Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) orchestrated by Director General Godfrey Itaye.
The abuse range from giving contracts to Itaye’s family member, awarding some to companies that did not bid, to sponsoring the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
According to the report, in 2016 MACRA procured 450 rolls of DPP cloth from Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons.
The regulatory body then hired DPP politician and cabinet minister Kondwani Nankhumwa’s company to transport the cloth from Blantyre to Lilongwe at a cost of K1.2 million.
MACRA also lost K135 million in a deal with Fattani Offset Printers for production of calendar.
According to the report, the calendars which were for the year 2017 had not been delivered by October, 2017.
“It has also been established that MACRA does not have any record and or a procurement file for this transaction. As such there is no any manual goods received note and or an ACCPAC system generated receipt note issued to acknowledge receipt of the calendars,” says the report.
In another case, Itaye ordered procurement officer at the regulatory body to award contracts to his mother in-law.
“Around March, 2016 the Head of Procurement Department Joseph Bauti Ngalawa informed the Procurement Officer that he had been instructed by the Director General Godfrey Redson Itaye that the Procurement Unit should offer contracts to the two women namely Mrs. M. Nseula and Mrs. Gomani trading as Kaikalion Agency and Mulhoteni General Dealers respectively,” says the report.
It adds that the two suppliers had not submitted any letter of introduction prior to the award of these contracts.
In the two procurement files, Itaye did not declare conflict of interest despite that the registered owner of Kaikalion Agency is the mother of his wife.
The woman was awarded the contract for the supply and delivery of 8 Medium Laser jet Colour Printers and 5 External Hard Drives 500GB at the total cost of MK4, 931,736.
Later, Itaye told the procurement to make sure that a MK13.1 million contract for the Installation of Car Tracking and Fleet Management System should be awarded to CARTRACK Limited which uses the same postal address as his mother in-law’s company.
“It should also be pointed out that despite the MK13.1 Million being a fixed contract price, MACRA still pays huge monthly subscription fees to CARTRACK Limited,” says the report.
Another case of abuse highlighted in the report concerns a generator which was meant for
MACRA’S Lilongwe office but ended up at its board chairperson Mervis Mangulenje’s house.
According to published reports, some of the cases are being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau.