Companies that messed up previous government tenders have narrow chances of qualifying for fresh ones in the Joyce Banda’s administration which wants efficiency, Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu said on Sunday.

Kunkuyu said government’s stand on cancellation of tenders is not witch-hunting on some businesses, but a measure to ensure efficiency in all government departments.

He was reacting to The Nation’s observations of a trend of cancellation of some tenders within a short period of time.

Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in July cancelled 2012-2013 subsidised fertiliser tender under reference number 019/FERT/IPC/12/001. The ministry did not give any reason for the cancellation. The tender attracted 51 companies.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security wishes to advise all prospective bidders who participated in the above tender that it has been cancelled. Any inconvenience caused by this cancellation is greatly regretted. The tender will be re-advertised after reviewing measures for enhancing the implementation of the programme,” reads a statement from the ministry.

Said Kunkuyu in defence of the cancellation of the tenders: “We look at previous performance of the companies involved in the tenders. Where there is inefficiency, that is disqualification. Surprisingly, you find one who did not supply is awarded another contract again. We want to make sure there is efficiency.”

Kunkuyu cited some companies that failed to supply fertiliser last year, but were again this year awarded contracts. He said up to now some Malawians still have last year’s coupons after failing to get the fertiliser.

“We do not want to lose any coin. We are aware that these companies

Employ Malawians. We do not want to cripple Malawians. But the companies must learn best management principles of business. We are not witch-hunting them,” said Kunkuyu.

But Indigenous Business Association of Malawi (Ibam) has said it wants to meet the President to express concern over the trends of tender cancellation.

“The whole Ibam is confused. We are failing to understand what is happening. We have been pressing for a meeting with the President, but we are facing obstacles. We shall continue asking for that opportunity. Killing indigenous businesses is killing Malawians,” said Ibam president Mike Mlombwa in an interview last Wednesday.

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