Ministry loses case against supplier

Ministry of Health and Population has lost a case where it refused to pay Techno World an agreed amount of money.

The company supplied computers at a contractual agreement of K273 million, but the ministry paid K201 018 525, less by over K72 million, according to court documents we have seen.

Ordered the audit and deduction: Namalika

Techno World, in a law suit against the ministry at the High Court in Lilongwe, demanded full payment of contractual agreement.

The ministry’s Principal Secretary (PS) Dan Namalika directed in a September 19 2018 memo that Techno World be paid the reduced amount after an audit report revealed some suppliers may have overcharged.

But when officers from the Attorney General’s (AG) chamber appeared before the High Court for mediation, they conceded that the ministry erred in deducting the money after the contract was signed.

The AG representatives agreed that the supplier met all the set requirements and be paid the full amount.

The court also ordered the ministry to pay the full amount.

Techno World lawyer Burton Chimango Phiri said in an interview that the court was yet to assess the interest to be paid since the payment has taken long.

He said theissue was referred to the registrar of the High Court in Lilongwe and the court has set February 22 for assessment.

The lawyer said his clients were vindicated as they were convinced they did everything right.

In September, 2018 the ministry halted procurement-related payments and instituted an investigative audit, suspecting fraud.

The investigative audit revealed that the ministry would have lost almost K90 million if a fiscal agent was not involved in multi-million kwacha payments that were due to two service providers.

But following the ministry’s stance not to pay the full amounts to the two firms, Techno World resorted to the legal action. na

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