Malawi Police Services in Lilongwe have confirmed the arrest of Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) Chief Executive Officer, Collins Magalasi over reasons the law enforcers are yet to disclose . It is however suspected that he has been arrested on possible corruption charges.
The National Police public relations officer, James Kadadzera, confirmed the development, adding that Magalasi has been arrested alongside Bright Mbewe from the procurement Office and Mera Spokesperson Patrick Maulidi.
But Kadadzera refused to disclose reasons of their arrest to avoid as investigations are underway.
The arrests follows reports of corruption in the procurement of a new mobile laboratory fuel testing van which MERA awarded to City Motors for the contract value of K704 million.
On 7th May 2019, MERA paid City Motors MK563, 200,000.00 which translates into 80 percent as advance payment.
MERA advertised for the procurement of a mobile fuel testing laboratory van. On 3rd April 2019, MERA entered into a contract with City Motors for the supply of the said laboratory van for the contract value of K704 million.
Almost a year later, on 17th April 2020, MERA paid MK140.8 million to City Motors translating to 20% of the contract sum.
The mobile laboratory van was delivered to MERA in April 2020, a year after the contract was agreed. Furthermore, delivery was made almost a year after the 80 advance payment.
The contract indicated that the van would be an Iveco Daily Panel but what has been delivered is a Mitsubishi.