MACRA officials arrested over procurement of ‘substandard’ equipment


Police in Blantyre have arrested two MACRA officials and three ex-officials for alleged fraud in the purchase of ‘substandard’ production equipment which was donated to Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) last year.

According to the National Police Deputy Public relations officer Harry Namwaza, the suspects are the current Macra acting director of finance Elvin Mwapasa and the current procurement officer Edson Makobili.

The fiscal and Fraud Section of Malawi Police Service has also arrested former director of finance Ben Chitsonga, former director of broadcasting Fegus Lipenga and former procurement manager Grace Solomoni Kaphale.

According to Namwaza who spoke with the local media, the five are accused of soliciting about K277 million from Thengo Investment in connection to delivery and installation of television and radio content studio equipment at Mubas last December.

It is reported that the five suspects who have been charged with fraud and abuse of office, allegedly committed the offences between September in 2021 and December in 2022.

“The arrests were made by Fiscal Police. They are all on court bail pending hearing of their matter,” Namwaza confirmed to the local media.

Meanwhile, the five suspects have been granted bail after they were charged and appeared before the Blantyre Principal Resident Magistrates Court on Thursday 30th March, 2023.

In December, 2022, MACRA came under heavy criticism for purchasing and donating to Mubas production equipment worth K400 million which some experts labelled as old fashioned.

The equipment include drones, cameras, computers, content servers, studio sound proof and all studio accessories which MACRA Director General, Daud Suleman said will go towards improving content production which he said is the future of the digital economy.

Experts in the country’s filming industry including president of the Film Association of Malawi (FAMA) Gift ’Sukez’ Sukali said the equipment is outdated and does not match with the K400 million which is said to have been spent.

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