The National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) has said it was aware that 27 of its registered contractors were involved in Cashgate; hence, suspending their licence awaiting the courts determination.
The 13th State witness in the K2.4 billion Cashgate case, Gerald Khonje, a civil engineer and technical director at NCIC, said this yesterday afternoon at the Lilongwe High Court.
He was testifying in the criminal case in which former budget director Paul Mphwiyo and 18 others are accused of being involved in the squander of public funds in 2013.
Said Khonje: “Contractors registered by NCIC know that they must adhere to ethical conducts. When Cashgate was revealed, the council was aware that some of its contractors were involved in the scandal and the council made them undergo a disciplinary hearing in March 2014.”
In his written testimony to the court, which he read before the State and defence lawyers, Khonje said NICIC was fully aware of the misconduct of the contractors; hence, provided disciplinary action according to the magnitude of the violation each conducted.
For instance, two contractors, Stadal Constructions belonging to Stanford and Dalitso Mpoola, and W G Constructions have since been deregistered.
But defence lawyer Daniel Mkandawire asked Khonje why they let such activities happen when they knew they were unethical.
In cross-examining the State witness, Mkandawire said most of the constructors in question were approached by an individual who promised them business and they adhered to it as that is the norm in the industry to which Khonje said he was aware of but quickly said it was unethical.
On Monday morning the State paraded Khonje to give details of the processes of awarding contracts in the construction industry which are believed to have not been followed by some of the accused in Cashgate.
Justice Esmie Chombo adjourned the court for today morning for the conclusion of the witness evidence.