Government suspends awarding of contracts

President Lazarus Chakwera’s administration has suspended the awarding of government contracts with immediate effect.

Chief Secretary to the Government Zangazanga Chikhosi has announced the temporary suspension in a memo addressed to principal secretaries, district commissioners and heads of government agencies and departments.

He says the move is in line with provisions of the Corrupt Practices Act (2004), the Public Audit Act (2003), the Public Finance Management Act and the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act.

The laws are aimed at ensuring corruption free and fair contract management and prudence in public financial management.

“The temporary suspension is made in order to carry out a quick audit of prospective contracts, to ascertain a number of things including the transparency and credibility of the processes and procedures followed and decisions made,” said Chikhosi.

The development comes a few days after Lazarus Chakwera was elected president of Malawi. Chakwera replaced Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Defenders Coalition chairperson Gift Trapence has hailed the new administration for the suspension, saying awarding of contracts is one fertile ground for corruption.

Trapence has called on the Chakwera administration to makes sure that wrongdoers are penalized.

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