Mota Engil investigated over work permits


Mota Engil is being investigated over work permits issued to foreigners who came to Malawi to work for the Portuguese firm.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has launched an investigation into reports that Mota Engil lied on its application for work permits for its foreign workers. The probe follows findings of a site visit to Mota Engil by authorities on June 6.

The Investigator Magazine reported that the investigation centres on permits issued to Ricardo Andre Teixeira De Almeida and David Manuel Leal Oliveira.

Almeida holds a permanent residence issued on 18th February 2022 and at Mota Engil he reportedly works as the General Manager for Malawi Shipping and Malawi Ports Company as well as the Director of Finance for Mota Engil in Malawi.

In the case of Leal Oliveira, he came to Malawi as a welder and was given a two year work permit issued on 8th March, 2022 and with expiration date of 7th March 2024.

However, it was discovered thay Oliveira is also working as the in-charge of Mota Engil in Monkebay.

“This constitutes a violation of their work permit, as it exceeds the approved scope of their employment,” the report says as quoted by The Investigator.

The report also recommends a investigation be conducted to obtain additional evidence and statements from the concerned employees and relevant stakeholders at Mota Engil.

Mota Engil refused to comment when contacted by The Investigator but Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale Ng’oma said they want to ensure that Malawians are not deprived of jobs.

“We don’t look at who or what you are. There are no sacred cows in this clean up. We are looking at compliance and having right permits,” said Zikhale Ng’oma.

Mota Engil used to be awarded a lot of contracts under the Democratic Progressive Party administration but its share of public contracts has diminished under the Lazarus Chakwera administration.

Last month , former Secretary for Transport, Patrick Zimpita was arrested by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly instructing a fellow officer to fraudulently declare Mota Engil the successful bidder of Marka-Bangula railway.

This followed the arrest of Chief Procurement Officer in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Michael Mbewe, in connection to the same contract.

The railway project was awarded to China Railway 20th Group which won the tender after ACB ordered a re–tender following the said corruption allegations.

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