Discontent is simmering over the awarding of a contract to a Chinese company, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to construct a 10-kilometer Ntchisi-Malomo road despite the company recently embroiled in several legal and contractual wrangles.
The road is among a compendium of projects which were recently unveiled by government and will be financed by a K1 trillion infrastructure bond.
However, of particular interest to many Malawians is the awarding of the contract, which is worth K4.1 billion to the Chinese company which many are discrediting it for its dirty past.
Towards the end of last year, the High Court of Malawi Commercial Division ordered the company to pay K1.7 billion to Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (FISD) Company Limited for breach of contract.
In a ruling dated 15 September, 2021, High Court Judge Ken Manda said facts presented in court show that the Chinese company only wanted to use FISD as a figurehead for the purpose of winning government contracts in this country.
“In view of this, and also considering the fact that there is clearly frustration such that seemingly the parties cannot work together, the best option would be for the defendant to pay off the claimant the sums equivalent of Malawi kwacha of one million dollars [$1 million] for each of the two projects.
“I would, thus, declare that the defendant should pay the claimant the sum the equivalent in Malawi kwacha terms of two million dollars [$2 million], plus the costs of this action,” said Manda
Later, the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) also ordered the same Chinese company to discontinue constructing the K7 billion Mzuzu University Library.
The order was executed because the foreign firm flouted Malawi laws by not working in association with a Malawian firm for at least 30 percent of the works.