The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) has justified the awarding of K1.3 billion goat procurement contracts to expensive suppliers and has claimed that the issue has been unnecessarily exaggerated
In a statement issued on Wednesday, September 22, DODMA announced its intention to award AWS trucking and ASIP & A investments contracts worth over 836 million and 462 million kwacha respectively under the post cyclone Idai and Kenneth emergency recovery and resilient project.
The goats are expected to be distributed in communities that were affected by cyclones.
However, the deal has been received with mixed reactions by a cross section of members of the society notably, parliamentarian for Nsanje Lalanje constituency Gladys Ganda who is questioning the rationale behind DODMA’s settling for highest bidders whom she said are charging K40,000 per goat leaving out lowest bidders who had pegged their prices between K20,000 and K30,000 per goat.
Ganda who is also opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) shadow minister of trade also wondered why DODMA would not have considered buying the goats directly from farmers through local councils an arrangement which she said would have helped to reduce the cost for the goats and empower local farmers.
However, DODMA Projects Manager Grenerd Mkwende has told Malawi24 that the department was just adhering to the African Development Bank’s tendering procurement rules which requires them to tender the contract nationally and that the successful bidder is identified not based on the lowest price being offered only, but also the ability of the bidder to satisfy all the tendering procedures.
Mkwende also noted that the contracts have not yet been offered but the department has only announced its intention to award the contracts to the two suppliers.
“As DODMA we are really surprised that the matter is being unnecessarily exaggerated. The reality of the matter is that we haven’t yet awarded the contract. What we have done is to advertise our intention to award. It’s a normal procurement process whereby we are giving a chance to the bidders who have not been successful to come and find out where they went wrong for them to do better next time. That’s where we are now,” he said.
He added that since the money is coming from the African Development bank, the department was just following normal procurement protocols which requires an entity to tender a contract publicly.
“In procurement when it’s a tender we don’t just give it out just because one is the lowest bidder, we give the contract to the lowest evaluated bidder, meaning the one who has satisfied all the procurement processes,” said Mkwende.
Government has recently been advocating different policies which seek to promote the growth of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs with local farmers being part of the targeted beneficiaries.