Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom)has confirmed United Transformation Movement president and State vice-president  Saulos Chilima allegations that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has stolen K1.6 billion worth of fuel from the power generators.
Chitosi: It is true
The power utility publicist  Innocent Chitosi said the three million litres worth of fuel was siphoned off at its offfices in Lilongwe and Blantyre.
“The fuel was stolen between January and June this year. There is a syndicate that was stealing the fuel,” said Chitosi.
He, however, claimed that some guards and transporters were conniving with some officials to siphon off the fuel.
The vice-president Chilima told a fired up UTM mass rally in Blantyre on Sunday that there is rot at Escom where DPP officials were in free for all theft of Escom property including the fuel, an allegation that the DPP has vehemently denied.
This comes barely days after the graft busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) stopped an immediate business deal to the powerful and elite DPP officials to provide alarms in Escom worth K220 million.
DPP officials are also entangled in a K9.3 billion deal at Escom.
Chilima said once the UTM and himself gets into power, he will immediately stop corruption at Escom.
Recently, an audit report of the fiscal year 2016/17  – prepared by former Aiditor General Stevenson Kamphasa – exposed that Escom ordered goods valued at  K8.3 billion from about 23 suppliers without following internal procurement procedures and without the knowledge  of key management .
“Out of the K8.3 billion ordered items, the Corporation only needed K3.2 billion of the items ; rendering the remaining K5.1 billion useless,” says the report on part.
The power utility continued to acquire the old three-phase meters despite embarking on a project to migrate customers from post-paid to prepaid  billing through introduction of meters mounted on electricity poles to phase out the old three-phase system, according to the findings of the audit.
“A total of 24 550 meters valued at K1.8 billion were received in March and April 2019, But only 330 items valued at K23 million were issued from stores in the last 12 months to June 2017,” reads the report.
Escom board chairperson Thom Mpinganjira told a news conference recently that  “there were serious misprocurement process” at the Corporation.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has stopped Escom from awarding a contract worth K219,757,578.66 meant to install car-tracking systems on Escom vehicles from the Southern Region.
ACB  has confirmed that it received an anonymous complaint that Escom did not follow the right procedures in awarding the contract.
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