Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bintony Kutsaira has refuted reports that government awarded a K7.8 billion consultancy contract to a ‘ghost’ company saying negotiations were cancelled at an early stage.
The minister made the remarks today following newspaper reports that government awarded a lucrative contract to a company that does not exist.
The Nation reported that a company named Black & Veach was given the contract by Kam’mwamba Coal-Fired Power Generation Company (KPGC), a parastatal which has since been dissolved.
Kutsaira at the press briefing in Lilongwe today said the contract that was being negotiated was cancelled and not awarded.
“The KPGC management which was holding negotiations regarding the contract had to cancel at the early stage because there were no officials from the ministry of finance,” he explained.
He added that after the cancellation, Government placed responsibility of developing the Kam’mwamba Coal Power Project on Egenco.
Kutsaira also claimed that the company which entered into negotiations with KPGC was not Black and Veach but Black and Veatch, a United States based firm which has offices in South Africa
However, a Black & Veatch spokesperson told the local media that the company does not have an entity in Malawi.
During the press briefing, Kutsaira also rejected claims that gemstones had been smuggled out of the country and had been impounded at a Tanzanian Border as shown in a video which went viral on social media.
The minister said the ministry involved relevant authorities both within Malawi and in Tanzania to verify the credibility of the video which has been proved to be false
The minister therefore asked for well-wishers to keep informing the ministry with well researched information once they encounter any illegal mining in their communities instead of rushing to social media.