Chinese construction firm awarded K68 billion Marka-Bangula Railway contract


Malawi Government has awarded China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation a K68 billion contract to rehabilitate the Marka-Bangula Railway section.

According to a notification of intention to award contract issued today by the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, the contract is for design, rehabilitation, and upgrading of the Marka to Bangula railway section.

The contract was initially awarded to Mota Engil but the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in September last year suspended the awarding of the deal following a complaint alleging irregularities and suspected corruption surrounding the procurement process.

Mota-Engil had 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).

The notification issued today

In December, the Bureau said its investigation into the deal found that the evaluation team substantially departed 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,” ACB said.

The Bureau then ordered the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to re-evaluate the last three bidders using a different team from the one that conducted the first evaluation.

In Nsanje, China Railway 20 Bureau Limited was also awarded the K11 billion Nsanje-Marka Road.

The company started constructing the 26-kilometre tarmac road in 2019 but there have been complaints from community members over the project.

Speaking during a tour on Thursday organised by Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), community members said schools and rural health centres have been washed away by water, which CR20 diverted to the facilities in the course of the construction work.

“Of course, this is a village. But this road is not of up to standard. I have been to Nsanje Boma and Blantyre. I have never seen a road of poor standard as this one,” said one community member.

Households affected by Nsanje-Marka Road Project claim Malawi Govt paid them K1000 each