Cashgate: Malawi Bureau of Standards buys 49 computers at K80 million

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… One computer billed at K1.6million

The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has come under fire for buying 49 desktop computers at K80 million.

The bureau issued a notice in a local newspaper on June 13 that it intends to award a contract to Business Machines Limited for the purchase of the computers.

According to the bureau, the supply and delivery of the computers will cost K79.6 million, about K1.6 million for each computer.

MBS in its notice did not mention specifications for the computers it intends to purchase but Malawians on social media have lashed out at the bureau over the prices.

“This is theft of the highest order…79 million kwacha for 49 desktop computers….kodi mulibe chisoni (aren’t you concerned) that millions of Malawians are suffering living in abject poverty,” said Martha Chikuni on Facebook.

Another Facebook user commented: “This theft of public resources must stop. Say no to MBS computer tender award.”

“This has always been Malawi habit of stealing from the people’s money nothing new please. Everyone is in it for their own benefit. Sadly nothing changes,” said another.

Some commenters however noted that computers with advanced specifications can cost more than K2 million hence it is wise to know the type of computers the bureau wants to purchase.

“That’s about $2400 per computer. If it’s for regular use then that’s a rip-off, if the computers are the ones with better processing capabilities and some sort of forensic software since they are being used at the standards department then it makes sense. Best thing is to find out what the spec requirements are for the computers they need to procure,” a Facebook user commented on Chikuni’s post.

The MBS is a body mandated to promote metrology, standardization and quality assurance of commodities and of their manufacture, production, processing or treatment.

The bureau is currently constructing a K13 billion laboratory in Blantyre.

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