The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiative (CDEDI) has written the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate the Lilongwe Water Board over the manner in which it awarded a contract worth K5.2 billion to China Civil Engineering.
According to a letter dated 19 April 2022 addressed to ACB Director Martha Chizuma, 8 companies submitted bids for contract number LWB/W/K/SR/22/1 which involves relocating water pipes for the expansion of Kenyatta Road and Sharrar Street.
According to CDEDI, China Civil Engineering came fourth on the bid value at K5.2 billion but LWB left the other 3 lesser bidders and awarded the contract to China Civil Engineering without accompanying documents justifying the selection.
“This is where we want ACB to come in and investigate how this choice of contractor was made because other bidders who offered lesser prices were left out and no explanation was given,” reads the CDEDI letter.
According to the letter, the lower bidders were Victory Vision Construction with MWK3.4 billion; Projex Group Ltd with MWK3.6 billion and Malbro International Ltd with MWK4.8 billion.
On top of that, CDEDI wonders why LWB should pay China Civil Engineering K5, 242, 933 311.64 when the same company valued the same work at K507 million in another contract on the same stretch.
“Why should LWB award to China Civil Engineering a contract which forms part of the six-lane expansion works, under Contract No. RA/DEV/2020-21, which was already signed, and works have commenced on the site, such as the relocation of water pipes, sewer, communication cables and electricity poles, whose Bill of Quantities was pegged at K507 million,” reads the letter.
ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala confirmed receiving the letter from ACB and promised to evaluate the facts in the letter and take the appropriate action thereafter.
“We would like to confirm receipt of.a.letter from CDEDI. The Bureau will review the complaint to ascertain if there is merit to warrant the Bureau’s action according to its mandate,” said Ndala in an email response.