ACB says Mota Engil was awarded 48 billion Malawi Kwacha contract without solid basis

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) says the Ministry of Transport Public Works awarded a 48 billion Malawi Kwacha contract for upgrading of Marka-Bangula railway to Mota Engil without any solid basis.

The bureau has ordered the ministry to re-valuate bids and find a new contractor within 15 days. The order comes after months of investigations by the bureau.

“The Bureau’s investigation has faulted the Evaluation Team for substantially departing from the requirements of the Bidding Document when evaluating the bids contrary to the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act and the Bidding Document for this contract. This makes the intended award of contract to Mota Engil without any solid basis,” reads part of the bureau’s statement released yesterday.

The Bureau has since told the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to re-evaluate the last three bidders with consideration being made to areas of noncompliance to Bidding Document that the Bureau raised in its communication to the Ministry.

“The team to re-evaluate the bids should be different from the one that conducted the first evaluation with complete lack of attention to detail to the Bidding Document.

“Having in mind the importance of this project to Malawi economy and that this project is a bilateral arrangement between Malawi and Mozambique and that Mozambique has almost finalized their side whilst Malawi has done nothing, the process of reevaluation should be done within the next 15 days and proceed with the rest of the procurement processes according to the law,” reads part of the statement signed by Principal Public Relations Officer Egrita M. Ndala.

In September, 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).