The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) are failing to explain how a multi million kwacha contract was awarded to Rays Construction Company of Blantyre.
MRA awarded a K54 million contract for construction of a car park at its headquarters at Msonkho House in Blantyre.
Records at the Registrar General’s office indicate that Rays Construction, of Private Bag 5148, Limbe, was registered as a private company on July 9, 2007 with registration number 8401 under Leston Mulli, Noel Masangwi, Muhiyeni Mulli and Elvis Masangwi.
While MRA says all the procurement procedures were followed when awarding the contract to Rays Construction evidence from the ODPP does not support the claim.
MRA confirmed the award of the contract to the company but refused to give Malawi News evidence to show that procedures for awarding the contract were indeed followed and referred this paper to ODPP.
Procedurally, ODPP was supposed to give a ‘No Objection’ letter to MRA on the award of the contract.
But ODPP, through its Public Relations Officer Mary Mbekeani, was non-committal and referred the issue back to MRA saying they are the ones who can show the evidence of the transaction in question.
“I do not think I am the right person to give you the information that you are asking for. If MRA told you that they got a letter of ‘No Objection’ which we issue, they must be the ones who can show you the letter because it must be with them and not us,” said Mbekeani.
MRA public Relations Officer Steve Kapoloma said his organization was not ready to say more on the matter.
“We will not comment on that matter. We told you already [what to do]. Go and ask ODPP,” said Kapoloma.
When called on two occasions Masangwi hang up on this reporter, as soon as the issue was introduced.
Leston Mulli, on the other hand, refused to take questions saying he no longer controls the company.
“Indeed I was one of the people who established the company but I later on quit. If you have questions on that please talk to Mr. Masangwi as he is better placed to respond to your questions,” said Mulli.
But when told that Masangwi had cut the line twice Mulli said, “keep on trying him, maybe you will succeed.”
The development comes amid revelations that MRA borrowed K30 billion from commercial banks to balance the Zero-Deficit Budget. MRA has said it is the Treasury which borrowed the money and that the tax collecting body was only used as a conduit.
But a December 30, 2011, letter written by the Director of Budget Dr Dalitso Kabambe shows that the Ministry authorized MRA to borrow and not that MRA was being asked to do so on behalf of Treasury.
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