Namiwa addressing the news conference

By Thandie Chadzandiyani


LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s social right body Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 expressed worrisome on President Lazarus Chakwera’s helplessness to contain the fight among Tonse administration partners on fuel supply contracts.

The watchdog observes that Tonse partners endless fights will culminate into a fuel crisis in Malawi.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa told the news conference in the capital Lilongwe that the matter can be sorted fully by Chakwera whom the grouping says is helpless to contain the fights.

Namiwa observes, “That greed is at the center of it all – the fuel supply saga is as a result of the in-fighting among the Tonse Alliance Partners, who are trying so hard to outclass each other in order to claim hefty commissions from the selected suppliers. President Lazarus Chakwera is helplessly watching the drama, instead of stamping his authority to bring sanity on the matter. For starters, it is only in Malawi where government does not have 100 percent control over fuel supplies.

“Currently, NOCMA is in leadership crisis, hence their lack of capacity to award fresh contracts to fuel suppliers, since the parastatal’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO); the Director of Finance; and the Procurement Officer, are all on suspension, a development that has crippled NOCMA’s operations;NOCMA is playing the role of MERA, since it has bypassed the regulator and has identified fuel suppliers without involving the regulator, a development which is a clear violation of the law;NOCMA is clearly violating the law by publishing the intention to award contracts for fuel supplies in the press, without disclosing the prices of the bids, as per the requirement of the law”.

CDEDI has therefore demanded President Chakwera to show decisive leadership by putting the house at NOCMA in order.

“NOCMA should suspend the current bids since the bid validity expired way back. While the government is sorting out the leadership crisis at NOCMA, the contracts for the previous supplies should be extended in order to avert a looming fuel crisis,” urges Namiwa.

In an separate interview Synab Mitole Healthy Personnel said “If there will be any fuel crisis we have to understand that everything will go up, think of ambulances, think of generators in hospitals, if we let this nonsense continue we will have huge problems”.

Claire Baison Standing for women said “problem is people only look at the cars that are for business forgetting the ones that really matter, we are the ones that carry this burden not them in government, the President must see to this matter that it is taken care of”.

However during the Parliament session Brian Banda said the President will not have a part on this issue as it has left it to be sorted by MERA and NOCMA.


Against this background CDEDI has warned that if there will be any time soon in the country, it will not hesitate but to lead Malawians into nationwide protests, to force president Chakwera to rectify the situation, with the urgency it deserves.

Below is CDEDI statement:

GREED AMONG TONSE ALLIANCE PARTNERS; PRESIDENT CHAKWERA’S ABSENT LEADRESHIP, A CAUSE FOR WORRY AS FUEL CRISIS LOOMS

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), just like all well-meaning Malawians, has noted with concern the not so funny jokes the National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA), is dishing out through its endless fights with the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA), over the fuel supply contracts, which in a matter of days will culminate into a fuel crisis.

Right at the onset, CDEDI would like to remind those who may dare to care, that fuel controls the economy, and in fact it’s the only commodity the world over that runs governments, hence any slight crisis means loss of lives in Malawi.

We at CDEDI are of the view that as a country, we have entertained this drama for way too long, and we can no longer continue watching it when we know that anytime we are going to pay with our own lives due to our inability to act.

Having closely followed the matter, CDEDI has established the following;

  1. That greed is at the center of it all – the fuel supply saga is as a result of the in-fighting among the Tonse Alliance Partners, who are trying so hard to outclass each other in order to claim hefty commissions from the selected suppliers;
  2. President Lazarus Chakwera is helplessly watching the drama, instead of stamping his authority to bring sanity on the matter. For starters, it is only in Malawi where government does not have 100 percent control over fuel supplies;
  3. Currently, NOCMA is in leadership crisis, hence their lack of capacity to award fresh contracts to fuel suppliers, since the parastatal’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO); the Director of Finance; and the Procurement Officer, are all on suspension, a development that has crippled NOCMA’s operations;
  4. NOCMA is playing the role of MERA, since it has bypassed the regulator and has identified fuel suppliers without involving the regulator, a development which is a clear violation of the law;
  5. NOCMA is clearly violating the law by publishing the intention to award contracts for fuel supplies in the press, without disclosing the prices of the bids, as per the requirement of the law;
  6. Poorly negotiated deals mean the consumer will bear the consequences through an instant increase in pump prices, a development that automatically pushes up both the cost of living and production, thereby translating into more misery of the already struggling Malawians;
  7. The involvement of politicians in the fuel supplies is not new, as they try so hard to bring in their preferred suppliers. However, it requires the leadership at NOCMA to do due diligence in the ranking of the bidders to ascertain the technical and financial capacity to supply the liquid;
  8. We have evidence in our possession which indicates that the technical and financial capacity of some of the preferred fuel suppliers is questionable, such that they do not qualify to be awarded the contracts. Such underqualified bidders, whose technical and financial capacity is questionable, are the ones NOCMA has selected from the ‘not full bid’ category, thereby putting the country at risk;  

It is against this background that CDEDI, on behalf of all well-meaning Malawians, hereby makes the following demands:

  1. President Chakwera should show decisive leadership by putting the house at NOCMA in order;
  2. NOCMA should suspend the current bids since the bid validity expired way back;
  3. While government is sorting out the leadership crisis at NOCMA, the contracts for the previous suppliers should be extended in order to avert a looming fuel crisis;

Should there be any fuel crisis any time soon in the country, CDEDI will not hesitate but to lead Malawians into nationwide protests, to force President Chakwera to rectify the situation, with the urgency it deserves.

Signed by: CDEDI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SYLVESTER NAMIWA

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