January 18, 2021

Minister Cancels Petroleum Tenders, reported to ACB

Minister of Energy, Hon. Newton Kambala, has directed cancellation of tenders for the supply of fuel for 2020/2021 of 314,820 MT to National Oil Company of Malawi [NOCMA] until the new executive management is instituted.

Kambala has already written the NOCMA Board to put a credible executive management in place through a transparent process within the shortest possible time.

However, the cancellation of the tenders has come after former Deputy Chief Executive Officer [CEO] of NOCMA, Helen Buluma, has reported the Minister, Hon. Kambala, Presidential Advisor on Strategy, Mr. Chris Chaima–Banda and AFORD President, Mr. Enock Chihana, to the Anti-Corruption Bureau [ACB] implicating them in petroleum supply deals.

Buluma reported the implications of the three in her capacity as Deputy CEO of NOCMA who has since 17th September 2020 been the caretaker of the company in the absence of the CEO, Mr. Gift Dulla, who was arrested on the 17th September 2020 and proceeded on forced leave after being released from jail.

According to the letter addressed to the ACB Chief, Reyneck Matemba, on 17th September 2020, NOCMA advertised for a fuel supply tender for 314,820 MT which saw the three, Hon. Kambala, Mr. Chaima –Banda and Mr. Enock Chihana meddling in the fuel tender process with intent to influence award of the fuel supply contracts to specific suppliers.

The letter says Hon. Kambala directly instructed Helen Buluma to only receive instructions from him regarding the specific suppliers and volume allocated to each and gave her names of four suppliers which included: Oray, Finergy, Tratigura and later Sahara Energy.

…”On 26th and 27th September 2020, Hon. Kambala told me that he had shared my number with one who would call and link me to the suppliers, Mr. Enock Chihana, to which I resisted for a couple of days,’’….reads part of Helen Buluma’s letter to ACB.

Meanwhile, there are reports circulating on the social media alleging that Hon. Kambala is receiving death threats yet to be established for its real reasons which the Hon. Minister has left all phone call recordings of the people threatening his life in the hands of the police and family members.

By Vincent Gunde

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