HRDC demands ESCOM to suspend K675m contract

Escom House fire

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has demanded Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) to suspend the award of a K675million contract for demolishing a building.

The development follows a recent announcement made by ESCOM that it has given a contract to Irrigwater & Mining Equipment to demolish ESCOM House in Blantyre which was damaged by fire.

Escom House fire
ESCOM house

HRDC said in a letter to ESCOM that it suspects corruption on the case and has since asked the electricity supplier to immediately suspend the award of the contract until the matter is settled.

Reports indicate that Irrigwater did not even bid for the contract but one company which submitted a bid pegged the demolition at K130 million.

HRDC has described the disparity as unjustifiable saying it raises a lot of accountability questions.

“According your notice, the intention is to award a contract to a company to demolish the building at the cost of about K675, 000, 000.00. According to the information gathered via the social media, which we request your verification, other firms gave you quotations of about K130,000,000.00 to do the same job.

“Our client seriously suspect that there might be serious some corruption on this case. Meanwhile, our client demand that you suspend the award of the contract until these issues are resolved.” HRDC’s lawyers writes in the letter.

Through its lawyers, HRDC further said if ESCOM will not address the issues by April 29, it will take the matter to court to seek necessary remedies and will report the matter as a criminal case which need investigation and prosecution.