MERA’s K704m van under probe

The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) bought a K704 million mobile laboratory fuel testing van and now the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) says it will investigate the purchase.

According to payment vouchers Malawi24 has seen, MERA bought the van from City Motors and paid K563.2 million in May last year.

In April this year, the energy regulator paid City Motors K140.8 million. The van was also delivered in April.

The contract for the purchase was signed by MERA chief executive officer Collins Magalasi and M. Sabadia of City Motors.

On July 12, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition reported the purchase to ACB, saying there were flaws in the procurement of the vehicle.

“Our reading of the procurement laws, especially the Procurement Regulations, shows that it is illegal to make advance payment in purchase of goods procured locally,” said HRDC’s Gift Trapence.

ACB Director General Reyneck Matemba confirmed to the local media that the bureau is investigating the procurement.

On his part, Magalasi said MERA will cooperate with the bureau in the probe but said he is aware of the procurement contract and what the laws say about payments.