Hon. Gladys Ganda, Shadow Minister of Industry and Trade in the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] and Member of Parliament for Nsanje Lalanje constituency, has expressed shock over the decision by Government to award contracts to suppliers of goats to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs [DoDMA]. Government announced in its statement that a total of 3,714,105 farming households will do crop production in this 2021-22 farming season while 30,000 farming households in Chikwawa and Nsanje will do livestock production [goats] and Government will provide direct substitute of crop production inputs saying the same farmers in the districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje will get two goats instead of fertilizer and seed. Hon. Ganda said she find the award of contracts to supply goats to DoDMA as unreasonable, corrupt and an insult to Malawians saying President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has been asking Malawians to respect his government saying what has happened to the decision to DoDMA is just the same as ‘’Kuwatengera a Malawi Kuntoso’’ meaning taking Malawians for granted.
Ganda said the price of goats for breeding are within MK15,000 to a maximum of MK20,000 but DoDMA has awarded contracts to highest bidders leaving out those who pegged their prices between MK28,000 and MK32,000 when transport is included describing this as an insult to patriotic Malawians and it shows that some people are selfish and have no mercy for the suffering Malawians. She said she is reliably informed that there were 73 bidders, out of these, 53 qualified bidders were asked to provide bid security of MK10 million each asking why DoDMA is not engaging local suppliers in the designated areas citing one Phalombe suppliers to supply the goats, saying buying direct from the farmers is much better to empower them economically and to spur economic activities because many farmers will sell them. …’’If DoDMA wants prudence in the procurement of these goats, the best was to use the council to buy these goats direct from the farmers in the designated areas, this could have reduced the cost fairly, it would have empowered the local farmer unlike what is happening where the two companies are being earmarked to be given the contract,’’…lamented Hon. Ganda.
According to Hon. Ganda, AWS Trucking has been allocated MK836,932,500, ASIP and A Investments MK 462,000,000, the total amount of money for this tender is MK1.2 billion which if fairly managed, should have benefited all the qualified 52 suppliers or it should have directly benefited the livestock farmers more saying two families if not one family is destined to cash home a whooping MK1.2 billion describing this as totally unreasonable and it is Mbuzigate. Ganda has since asked a question to Government, why should a company that deals in trucking be involved in procurement of goats, It is the same as construction company being involved in supplying maize, where is the logic?
However, Hon. Gladys Ganda’s concern has attracted a reminder to Government by one social media commentator, Onjezani Kenani writing on his official Face book page that on 17th August, 2021, Secretary to the President and Cabinet [SPC], Mr. Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi issued a memorandum titled ‘’Implementation of the presidential directive on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Order 2020 and on Joint Ventures and subcontracting. The memo reminded everyone that the Order prescribes preferences and reservations for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises [MSMEs] and marginalized groups [the youth, women and people living with disabilities] wishing to participate in the public procurement of goods saying the objective is to economically empower Malawians to do business and to participate in public procurement. …’’Alas, the DoDMA seems not have received the memo, DoDMA has awarded a Trucking company to supply goats,’’…reads the writing of Kenani on the wall.
By Vincent Gunde