Mainja arrested over Covidgate

Businessperson Martin Mainja of Pest Chem B1 has been arrested in connection to the K6.2 billion Covidgate.

A National Audit Office report released last week show that Mainja was awarded a contract to fumigate government buildings at inflated charges.

Mainja who is claimed to be close to President Lazarus Chakwera has been arrested today in Lilongwe and he is expected to be interrogated at Area 30 police headquarters.

The audit report shows that Mainja’s company was handpicked by the Office of the President and Cabinet to fumigate Kamuzu Palace and Capital Hill at a cost of K97 million.

This was done even though there was no need to contract a private company considering that Lilongwe District Health Office already has capacity to fumigate the offices and could have carried out the works for about K6 million.

“It is also worth noting that the materials for disinfection by Pest Chem 1B were provided by Government, a situation that did not justify the use of the private disinfector at that high cost,” the report said.

The audit report was commissioned by Chakwera earlier this year after reports of massive plunder of public funds meant for Covid-19.

It advised the Malawi Police to institute criminal investigation into people implicated in malpractices that are criminal in nature.



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