The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) interrogated President Lazarus Chakwera at Kamuzu Palace where the president confirmed meeting representatives of some of the companies which were looking to secure fuel supply contracts at National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA).
ACB director Martha Chizuma has confirmed to the local media that the bureau interviewed Chakwera over the controversial fuel deals at National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA).
“We did interview and record a statement from HE [His Excellency the President] in relation to the NOCMA fuel suppliers’ investigations,” she told The Nation.
The bureau has been investigating allegations that senior officials in the Tonse Alliance Government had attempted to interfere in the procurement process for 2020/2021 fuel supply contracts.
According to The Nation newspaper report, Chakwera was interviewed on August 6 and the ACB took a written statement.
Chakwera told the ACB that he met representatives of some of the fuel suppliers.
The president could not recall the companies the people were representing but he said he told them to follow procurement laws in their bids.
Last year, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of NOCMA Hellen Buluma complained to the ACB that Minister of Energy at the time Newton Kambala, the then presidential advisor on strategy Chris Chaima Banda and AFORD President Enoch Chihana were interfering in the fuel supply contracts.
ACB investigations established that Kambala attempted to influence NOCMA to award contracts of 2020/2021 fuel supply for the advantage of Orxy, Finergy and Trifugira Fuel companies.
It was also established that Chihana and Chaima Banda aided and abetted Kambala when he attempted to influence the award of the contract to supply 40000 metric tons of fuel to a company known as Finergy.
The three were arrested on August 9 and charged with conspiracy to influence a public officer to abuse their office; misuse of public office and attempting to influence a public officer.
They are currently out on bail but Kambala and Chaima Banda have since been fired from their positions.