The Human Rights Defenders Coalition [HRDC] says it has received reports of allegations that the Ministry of Health has been and is procuring dialysis services at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital [Q.E.C.H] from Fresenius of South Africa without tendering, saying this in total violation of the single – sourcing procurement of the Public Procurement laws and regulations since 2015.
The HRDC claims that the Ministry of Health is allegedly coercing the Director General of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority [PPDA] to give supply contracts to Fresenius for dialysis services to Queens and Kamuzu Central Hospital [KCH] for another 5 years without tendering, saying this is a total disregard of the determinations given by PPDA on the appeals of the Ministry of Health on their wishes.
The organization says the Ministry of Health is allegedly pushing for supply of contracts with Fresenius that lack transparency at the time when the same company is reported on the global stage to be involved in the unethical corporate practices of getting businesses in many countries in Africa and beyond by corrupting officers, saying the Company has been penalized in USA and paid 23 million US Dollars because of corruption.
In a statement dated 17th February, 2021 signed by its National Chairperson, Gift Trapence, the HRDC is demanding the Fresenius to have no business transactions in Malawi until it is investigated and cleared by the ACB, saying many other African countries are currently doing this and Malawi cannot be the exception to the trend.
The HRDC is strongly suspects some officials in the Ministry of Health are abusing their offices and powers by misleading PPDA to extend the contract for their benefits and cover up for Fresenius.
The organization is demanding transparency, fairness, integrity, accountability and value for money in public procurements, saying failures in procurement on the part of public officials who purposely create health emergency opportunities, must not be the reason to continue with clandestine supply contracts.
…… “Our public health space is overstretched at the moment due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it does not make sense to overburden it with more ridiculous expenditure that do not speak for value for money and the best interest of the patient,’’…..reads part of the statement.
The HRDC says people in Malawi are demanding and expecting the ACB to carry out investigations on Fresenius and deal with this matter decisively, saying Malawians are looking forward to hearing the progress and the conclusion of the investigations.
By Vincent Gunde