ESCOM cancels controversial K675m demolition contract

Escom House fire

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) has cancelled a K675 million contract for the demolition of ESCOM House following public concern.

ESCOM during the week announced its intention to award a contract to Irrigwater & Mining Equipment to demolish ESCOM House in Blantyre which was damaged by fire in 2013.

Allexon Chiwaya-ESCOM
Chiwaya: we have cancelled the conrtract

However, Malawians expressed concern over the cost of the demolition job as it was also revealed that other companies submitted lower bids including one bid pegged at K130 million. There were also reports claiming that Irrigwater did not even bid for the contract but was announced as a successful bidder.

Following the public outcry, ESCOM has cancelled the contract saying it will address the issues raised by Malawians.

“ESCOM wishes to inform the public that it had cancelled the contract with immediate effect,” Chiwaya said,” ESCOM Chief Executive Officer Allexon Chiwaya said in a statement.

He however claimed that the power supplier followed procurement processes outlined in the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act in awarding the contract to Irrigwater.

According to Chiwaya, ESCOM received five bids for the contract to demolish the building and the newspaper announcement published on Wednesday was aimed at publicising the intention to award the contract in order to allow anyone with concerns over the intention to submit their complaint.

“ESCOM followed all the procurement processes including seeking a ‘no objection’ from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority.

“The notification in the newspapers was meant to ensure transparency and accountability in the procurement prior to any contract award,” Chiwaya said adding that the contract was not yet awarded.

According to Chiwaya, ESCOM has decided to cancel the award of the contract in the interest of the public as provided for in the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act.