The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has confirmed to have bought a $50 000 (about K28 million) Lexus GX 470 vehicle for Malawi’s mission at the United Nations in New York, USA.
Correspondence signed by Alfred Chibwana which Weekend Nation has seen shows that the Office of Director for Public Procurement (ODPP) authorised the ministry to purchase the vehicle on a ‘no objection’ basis.
“I wish to inform you that we have granted the ‘No Objection’ to proceed with the procurement of the car through single source from the supplier (Ray Catena Lexus of White Plains) at a cost of $50 000,” reads part of the letter.
In the letter, Chibwana advised the Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to ensure that all necessary public procurement procedures were adhered to while handling the contract in accordance with the Public Procurement Act 2003.
Kalichero justified the purchase despite Malawi’s bad shape of the economy on the grounds that the mission had operated for a year without a representational car and the ministry followed all necessary procedures to procure the vehicle.
She, however, said it was only the UN mission in New York that has such type of a vehicle.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation executive director, Timothy Mtambo, has said taking into consideration Malawi’s economy, government should have prioritised other important things than purchasing luxurious vehicles.
“This was not the time for government to make such decisions. Look at how hospitals are struggling for an ambulance to move from one place to another,” said Mtambo.