Sattargate: Chakwera caught sleeping, again

…appoints IG without due diligence

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…Yolamu in Sattar cobweb

The new Inspector General of Malawi Police appointed by President Lazarus Chakwera was mentioned in an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) report as one of the persons suspected to have played a role in the awarding of an K8 billion food rations contract to businessperson Zuneth Sattar.

The new Inspector General, Merlyne Yolamu, who is expected to be confirmed by Parliament next week, was previously Deputy Inspector General of Malawi Police. In this role, Yolamu was the Internal Procurement and Disposal Committee (IPDC) chairperson.

The ACB said in its report that it was Sattar who informed the Police that they needed to procure food rations instead of the police wanting to procure the items.

The report says Sattar sent to police names of his three companies to be considered for the contract and then drafted a letter in form of a bid evaluation report for the three companies. In this letter, Sattar justified why the police chose one of the companies called Xavier Ltd.

This bid evaluation letter was then allegedly sent to the Inspector General who forwarded it to Malawi Police lawyer Mwabi Kaluba who was instructed to paste a Malawi Police Service letter head on the letter.

“Mwabi Kaluba sent the draft he got from Sattar through Kainja to the Deputy Inspector General namely Mrs. Yolamu, who was the IPDC chairperson by virtue of her position, as if it was him, Mwabi Kaluba, who had drafted the letter.”

The report adds: “The Deputy Inspector General used the draft letter and responded to PPDA as if a bid evaluation exercise had been conducted and the Malawi Police Service had chosen Xavier Ltd to provide the food rations under the contract.”

On September 13, 2021 the MPS and Sattar’s Xavier Ltd entered into a contract reference number MPS/SB/16/04/2021 for the supply of 350,000 ration packs at a contract price of $22.50 and a total sum of $7,875,000.00 (about K8 billion).

Due to the ACB report, Chakwera last month fired George Kainja as Inspector General.

The ACB later arrested Kainja on allegations that he got a vehicle and US$8,000 (about K8 million) from Sattar as well as Kaluba on allegations that  he received US$20,000 (about K20 million) from Sattar as bribe.

Malawians on social media have since faulted Chakwera for failing to conduct due diligence before appointing the new Inspector General.

“Firing one sattered IG and appointing another sattered IG ishh,” said one person.

Another person said: “So you mean those that forward names they don’t do thoroughly investigation for cream candidate.”

 

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