Ministry of Transport asked to review bids for Marka-Bangula Railway Project

Centre for Mindset Change (CMC) has requested the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to review the bid documents for Marka-Bangula Railway Section Rehabilitation Project, saying
it has noted irregularities after visiting the site.

Mota Engil was awarded a K48 billion contract for the project.

Director for the grouping, Philip Kamangirah told journalists on Tuesday in Lilongwe that the organization had a tour to the site to verify and present facts to the general public because they believed that every accusation should be followed up with facts.

He added that according to their findings, the bid for the project omitted two bridges that were included in the project which are 150 and 111-metre-long respectively and need to be constructed where rivers have changed course.

According to Kamangirah, the only bridge mentioned in the Mota Engil documents is 90 metres long and the company said it will rehabilitate the bridge, not construct another one.

“The 150m long bridge has been priced it at K400 Million. Let me draw your attention to the 178m Railway bridge that the bid winner is constructing at Ruo River. The contract price is K7 billion. So, how can K400 million be adequate for 150m long bridge which is just 28m shorter than the Ruo one which is costing not less than K7 Billion. In our opinion, this alleged bid winner is hiding the real price of the bridge and only want to bring it up later,” claimed Kamangira.

He then demanded that the evaluation committee that attended the meeting in Salima for two weeks discussing the bid to return the money they received as allowances to the ministry of public works and transport.

The Marka-Bangula Railway Section has 4 stations which are considered for rehabilitation. The four includes Marka station, Nsanje station, Tengani Station and Bangula station.

The works contract was awarded to Mota-Engil at the initial contract sum of U$D70,035,427.94.

The work commenced in March 2018 and the initial period of performance was for 14 months which implied that the project should have been completed in May.

According to Kamangirah, the consultant does not have details about the revised completion date and the basis of the revision.

In September, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) stopped the Ministry of Transport and Public Works from awarding a contract for the upgrading of Marka-Bangula railway over corruption allegations.

The awarding of the contract was stopped days after Ministry of Transport and Public Works published a notification for intention to award Mota-Engil a K48 billion contract for the reconstruction of the 72-kilometre railway line.

Mota-Engil emerged the successful bidder with the lowest price (K48 244 861 524.98) against two others–China Railway (K59 906 673 465.11) and China Civil Engineering (K79 766 540 032.76).