The award of fertiliser subsidy supplying contracts to Nyiombo Investments and Export Trading by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has not gone well with some indigenous businesses in Malawi who have since demanded explanations as to why they are missing on the list.
Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security on Thursday published a contracts award notice which shows that Nyiombo and Export Trading have been awarded contracts to supply fertiliser to some districts in Malawi under the Irrigation, Rural Livelihoods and Agricultural Development Project.
The notice shows other companies that failed to win the tender. Both Nyiombo and Export Trading have each been awarded four lots of the tender.
President of the Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam) Mike Mlombwa expressed worry that the tender only went to two companies despite some indigenous Malawian businesses participating and offering lower prices in the bid.
He also wondered why some companies whose offers were low were shown to have offered higher final evaluated bid prices.
â€œWhere is that final evaluated bid price coming from?â€ he asked.
â€œI am yet to find out why indigenous businesses are missing out from the award of this tender. It is surprising that some of those companies that offered lower prices have not been considered.
â€œGovernment should favour its indigenous businesses because they employ fellow Malawians. I do not think other countries favour foreigners,â€ said Mlomba.
He urged local businesses not to get frustrated but continue participating in tenders.
A member of the ministryâ€™s internal procurement committee that handled the tender, Goli Mwanza, explained that the final evaluated bid price came about due to errors and omissions. He said some bidders do not read the full tender documents and miss out some details.
Asked why many local Malawian businesses are missing from the tender, Mwanza said: â€œOne of the problems with Malawian companies is that they think we know them but we deal with tender documents.â€
Mwanza said the ministry has been transparent enough to publish the tender results and called on those with queries to communicate to the procurement team.