…Memo says Chakwera’s ‘triplets’ working on behalf of president
The more things change. President Lazarus Chakwera allegedly ordered National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) to dubiously award fuel supply tenders to companies with State House connections on “orders from the president”.
According to a leaked letter NOCMA deputy chief executive officer (CEO) Helen Buluma to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) over alleged corrupt activities, Chakwera’s order is said to have been issued to her through Minister of Energy Newton Kambala and Presidential Advisor on Strategy Chris Chaima Banda to the ACB.
Her letter also implicates AFORD president Enoch Chihana who completes the Chakwera ‘triplets’ that Buluma has reported to the ACB.
In the leaked dossier, Buluma alleges that the Chakwera’s ‘triplets’ were meddling in the tender process for the 2020/21 fuel supply so that NOCMA only awards the tender to a list of companies that would be provided to her.
It is alleged the interference in the fuel tender kick-started on September 19.
She says that the Chakwera’s ‘triplets’ wanted the contracts to be awarded to Orxy, Finergy, Trafigula and Sahara Energy allegedly on orders from President Lazarus Chakwera.
“Hon. Kambala specifically instructed me to only receive instruction from him regarding the fuel supply procurement process including the specific suppliers and volume allocated to each and gave me names of four suppliers; to who I was instructed to award the fuel supply contract,” reads part of a leaked complaint that Buluma sent to ACB.
She added that Kambala called her on 26 or 27 September to tell her that he had shared her (Buluma’s) number to a person who would link her to the suppliers of Kambala’s preference.
Later, Chihana called Buluma and introduced himself as the person Kambala had talked about. When Chihana asked to meet, Buluma said she declined to do so.
In a leaked conversation between Buluma and Kambala, the NOCMA deputy CEO claims that Chaima Banda told her that the three are working on behalf of President Chakwera.
Earlier this month, days after Buluma was confirmed as acting NOCMA CEO, Chakwera ordered the NOCMA board to remove her from the position because she is a known Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) operative.
Buluma who lost in the 2019 parliamentary elections after standing on DPP ticket was last week fired as NOCMA acting boss.
State House is yet to comment on the allegations and Malawi24 could not independently verify whether the Chakwera’s infamous ‘triplets’ were indeed working on behalf of the President.
However, allegations of corruption involving some senior State House officials and members of the cabinet are a mole on Chakwera’s face.