ACB on UTM’s neck

Richard Makondi-DPP

Businessperson-cum-politician Richard Makondin has accused the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB)  of political persecution following the cancellation of his multi-million tender to install car-tracking systems for the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).

Richard Makondi-DPP
Under probe

The contract, worth K219, 757,578.66, has been cancelled following advice ACB’s advice that the electricity supplier did not follow set procedures.

But Makodi, who is now a member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP0) breakaway political grouping, United Transformation Movement (UTM) led by Vice-President Saulos Chilima, believes he is the victim of political witchhunt by the graft-busting body.

Makondi, who before joining UTM, was DPP’s National Organising Secretary, claims his contact was only terminated when he joined arms with Chilima to bring down President Peter Mutharika in 2019 presidential elections.

His lawyer, Joseph Kamkwasi, told Daily Times that Makondi’s contract has been suspended despite the bidding being transparent.

“Obviously, we can only speculate because he is an executive member of UTM. Possibly, the contract has been
suspended because of his association with the movement because this is not only thing happening to him; a lot
of government agencies are going against him,” said Kamkwasi.

But ACB Senior Public Relations Manager, Egrita Ndala, says the bureau received an anonymous complaint that Escom did not follow set procedures in the bidding process.

Makondi has also been under investigation by ACB on multiple times. He has been under probe for his role in supplying 35 vehicles and other accessories worth K895 million to the Malawi Defence Force (MDF). In 2017, he was also cautioned on allegations of abuse of office when he was working as National Sales Manager at Toyota Malawi.