BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)–The European Investment Bank (EIB), set to conclude funding for a K13 billion water treatment works project for Lilongwe, has questioned Capital Hill why it has hired Godfrey Itaye, former Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) Director General, as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Lilongwe Water Board.
Itaye is on Police bail after fraud charges were allegedly leveled against him.
The bank, in a letter to Government which has been widely quoted by local print media, said it had hoped to ink the deal with Finance Ministry but it was worried the recruitment of Itaye in June may affect the process.
The bank said charges raised against Itaye will “negatively impact our ability to conclude financing the contract with the Ministry of Finance as we are unable to have persons under criminal charge involved in our project, particularly given the relatively recent incident of irregularity.”
Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zanga Zanga Chikhosi declined to comment on the matter, while Williams Banda, Finance Ministry’s spokesman confirmed of receving the letter from EIB.
Itaye was summoned by Fiscal Police in Blantyre on early September and arrested thereafter over charges of abuse of office and fraud.
After spending a night in the cooler, Itaye was released on police bail.
The charges relate to the procurement of K135 million Macra calendars contract, alleged deployment of an official vehicle Macra bought for its officer but was allocated to former president Peter Mutharika’s personal bodyguard Norman Chisale and procurement of the then governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cloth by the authority.
Itaye’s arrest followed earlier arrests of Macra director of finance Ben Chitsonga and procurement specialist Joseph Ngalawa.