The Centre for Democracy and Development Initiatives [CDEDI] has challenged Anti-Corruption Bureau [ACB] Director General, Ms. Martha Chizuma to look into unresolved issues surrounding the National Oil Company of Malawi [NOCMA] fuel supply tender process in order to avoid a looming crisis due to an increase in the pump prices, and a fuel crisis which will be caused by erratic fuel suppliers.
The CDEDI has warned Chizuma that should this happen, it will impact negatively on the innocent, marginalized and the vulnerable Malawians who are mostly tax payers and voters saying the organization does not think that she would want to be associated with this mess. The organization has reminded Chizuma that NOCMA is operating without Chief Executive Officer [CEO], Director of Finance and a Procurement Officer, saying it is further alleged that the position of Deputy CEO does not exist at NOCMA and yet it is currently occupied questioning the ACB how it has allowed an illegal entity to proceed to broker deals on behalf of Malawians. In the statement signed by its Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, CDEDI says it is an open secret that fuel is the only commodity in the world over that runs the economic wheels of any nation, and by extension, it runs governments saying any slight change in prices and its availability, causes some shock waves in the economy, NOCMA fuel supply continues to attract public attention and scrutiny.
CDEDI says one of the reasons this matter was brought before the ACB was the fact that the general public was shocked with revelations that NOCMA had decided to award the fuel supply contract to a Company that offered the liquid at US$50 million more, saying even though the approved supplier had some capacity challenges to sustain supply in an event of Forex dry spells in the country, whose chief Forex earner is tobacco. The organization recalls that the former Minister of Energy, Hon. Newton Kambala raised this very pertinent question in Parliament in his response to the report by the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Mining and Natural Resources for which Malawians believe the results of the ACB’s investigation would have tasked NOCMA to address these hiccups before proceeding with the awarding of the contracts. …’’The question was, and still remains, who is to pay for the extra US$50 million? We at CDEDI believe Malawians are still in the dark on the matter,’’…reads the statement in part.
CDEDI says since this development has created room for speculations, some Malawians have been forced to think that the ACB has now joined the cartel to skin the tax payers alive, as they will dig deeper into their pockets to pay for the difference saying it is open secret awarding
the fuel supply contract to a company that does not have the financial capacity to sustain the supply during the forex lean period in Malawi saying this is a recipe for disaster. The organization claims that one of the members of the Board of Directors for NOCMA resigned at the height of the recent arrests by the ACB of some officials that are suspected to have attempted to influence interest in investigating the reasons for the Board member’s resignation which have a direct linkage to the fuel supply mess.