Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa and several other top government officials have been implicated in K32.5 billion Cashgate scandal involving Malawi Defence Force (MDF), it has been established.
Information made available to Malawi Punch reveals that Nankhumwa has been facilitating a multi-billion Kwacha corruption scandal by illegally brokering a deal between MDF and India-based vehicle manufacturing company, Ashok Leyland.
MDF is in the process of replacing its vehicle fleet and Nankhumwa together with other government officials including Deputy Defence Minister, Agrey Masi are pushing to pocket millions of Kwachas by brokering to supply the MDF with 500 new vehicles at a cost of US$100, 000, (about MK65 million).
However, the deal my cost tax-payer a whooping MK32.5 billion minus shipping and other
Logistic costs. The new fleet of trucks will include top carriers, water tankers, buses and other military logistic vehicles.
“When the MDF management discussed and agreed on the need to acquire a new operational fleet for the Army, the former Deputy Defence Minister, Malison Ndau, told management that he would raise the matter with cabinet before a final decision to float tender invitation is made.
“Surprisingly, he returned to us without any cabinet decision on the matter but in the company of former Information Minister (now Local Government), Nankhumwa and three other people of Indian origin,” said a top Army officer privy to the deal.
Nankhumwa and Ndau were accompanied by three Leyland Ashok officials Mohan Krishnan, a Mr. Ramachandaran and Partha Chodhuru. Two of them were from Ashok Leyland Headquarters in Chennai, India, while one was from the local franchise in Blantyre.
The officials and the ministers met with MDF’s Director of Logistics Elias Kapalamula and MDF’s Deputy Commander, Griffin Supuni, in mid March 2016 at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe where a provisional agreement was made that Ashok Leyland should supply the required vehicles.
Nankhumwa and Masi recently met two unidentified local Ashok Leyland officials in
Blantyre. The two ministers were accompanied by Mr. Kapalamula, where he assured them the deal is done,” the Army officer claimed.
It is alleged that Kapalamula had already received an equivalent of USD100, 000 as a sweetener, while Nankhumwa and Supuni had allegedly pocketed USD200, 000 and USD250, 000, respectively.
Meanwhile, Nankhumwa is pushing for Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe and the Secretary to Treasurer, Ronald Mangani for the deal to g through.
The MDF was once implicated in Cashgate scandal which saw former Army Commander General Henry Odillo and his former deputy, Lt. Col. Clement Kafuwa arrested for allegedly making payments amounting to US$4.4 million (K2 billion) billions of Kwachas to Thuso Investments without supplying services to MDF.