Malawi cancels Techno Brain passport deal


Malawi Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda says the Government has terminated a controversial K50 billion passport contract with Techno Brain.

The company has since been given a 30-day notice in accordance to Section 46(c) of the Public Procurement Act 2017.

In 2019, the Government awarded a $60.8 million (about K50 billion) electronic passports contract to Techno Brain Global FZE for the supply of 800,000 passports.

The termination comes after Nyirenda and Minister of Information Gospel Kazako, at a joint press briefing on Monday, described the contract as a bad deal and promised to review it.

Kazako said the company quoted passport prices at expensive prices and the Tonse Alliance which came into power last year was failing to fulfil its campaign to reduce the passport fees to K14,000 due to the contract.

“When you look at the money used to produce a passport and the quoted prices, you would see that there was abuse. The three-and-a-half-year contract was not supposed to be signed.

“We are also failing to reduce passport prices because the current prices are connected to the contract that was signed.

“So, in the interest of Malawians and using relevant laws we will review the contract,” said Kazako.

Techno Brain pegged each passport at US$76 but in the Southern African Development Community region, a copy of a passport ranges from $25 to $60.

Malawians pay K90,000 (about US$109) for an ordinary 36-page passport.

Last year, President Lazarus Chakwera also blamed the Techno Brain contract for his government’s failure to reduce passport fees.

On the international stage, Techno was banned by World Bank for collusive and fraudulent practices the company used to influence the awarding of a contract in its favor.