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PPDA yet to pounce on Covid-19 funds abusers

Details of a meeting between Public procurement authorities and companies alleged to have abused Covid-19 funds remain sketchy.
The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority-PPDA is not specific as to when it will take disciplinary action on the implicated companies.

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the PPDA met with companies that are suspected to have been involved in the plunder of the K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds.

This was in reaction to an order made by President Lazarus Chakwera on April 18 that the involved companies should be disciplined.

After observing that there were delays in pursuing the matter, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition-HRDC issued a 7-day ultimatum on May 13 for the PPDA to disclose if it had blacklisted the companies as per the President’s order.

The HRDC also demanded an explanation over a K600 million contract that was given to some company to supply Personal Protective Equipment-PPEs.

The rights groups claims that through its whistleblowing initiative, it had received reports that Stallion Investment Company has won a tender to supply PPEs to Central Medical Stores with a possibility of flouted procedures.

The HRDC threatened to take a legal action, if the PPDA failed to do as they demanded.

“The hearing was held, but at the moment we are not able to divulge information until the due process is completed. The committee which was instituted to hear this matter will sit down and analyse outcomes from the hearing before coming out with relevant punishment as per the law,” emphasized the PPDA Spokesperson Grace Thipa.

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She has however not indicated as to when this will be.

Meanwhile, HRDC lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa indicates that he is engaging his clients to map the way forward.

“We had small issues with their response and we are consulting with our client and based on what they will say, we will map the way forward,” Mwafulirwa said.

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