Lilongwe-Salima Water Project: Khato Civils Speaks Out

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23 March 2018
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Lilongwe-Salima Water Project: Khato Civils Speaks Out

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Khato Civils wishes to express its total disgust at an article that appeared in the Nation Newspaper of Thursday, March 22, 2018, in which unfortunate insinuations were made regarding the award of the Lilongwe-Salima water project and purported investigations of the same, by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Ever since the award of this contract, there have been numerous allegations and reservations by a number of parties, some of whom have gone to the extent of using mercenaries to fight their dirty battles for reasons best known to themselves. Unfortunately for them, they had no credible facts to withstand the scrutiny of the independent courts, they were dismissed and we were victorious.

We understand that the recent alleged complaint was made “anonymously” to the Bureau by obviously the same interested parties who are now running short of tactics to delay or stop the project, hence their intention to remain anonymous on such a serious allegation and are now using rogue, lone elements within the ACB this time. This is clearly a carefully crafted scheme, abusing processes within independent institutions and the media for selfish reasons.

We would like to put on record that Khato Civils and seven other international companies were invited to respond to a bid by Lilongwe Water Board to tender for a solution to address the serious water shortages experienced in the Capital City and the surrounding areas as a result of population and economic growth which has outstripped the current water infrastructure.

Khato Civils presented its bid, which was an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Financing (EPCF) proposal. Our bid was without the slightest doubt the best. Those that have any doubt in this regard are at liberty to contact Lilongwe Water Board to inspect the quality of our bid compared to the competition we had.

Those that were not satisfied with the process know the procedures they should have followed as provided for under the laws of the land. They should however not be allowed to hold the people of Malawi hostage for their selfish interests. If Khato Civils had not succeeded, we would have accepted the results and learnt from the process.

The processes that led to the award of the project to Khato Civils are above board. Khato Civils is fully compliant in its systems monitored by SANAS, ISO 9001 2015, these are international quality agencies to which we are members in good standing. This particular project bid was run by Lilongwe Water Board, monitored and approved by the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP), followed by parliamentary and cabinet approvals.

This is a big investment for the government and people of Malawi, therefore, for anyone to make such a serious allegation and claim anonymity can only lead to one conclusion, they are lying. Anybody with such allegations of national importance should be willing to come in the open and be a witness in an independent court of law. This is not the case here, why? There’s no truth to these allegations but to serve to bring our name into disrepute.

The issue on whether or not an “anonymous” complaint will be found to have the merit to lead to an investigation is a matter entirely up to the ACB based on its processes and the law of the land. We are more than prepared to fully corporate with the ACB should indeed they reach such a conclusion. As in the past, our resolve is unshaken, as Khato Civils, we will always deploy all required resources, and we have enough, to defend the integrity of the company to ensure fairness and justice. We will not tolerate or accept any unsubstantiated innuendos intended to bring disrepute to Khato Civils, its directors, stakeholders and employees go unchallenged.

We however can no longer accept any man made dirty tactics aimed at delaying or derailing the project any further, from any quarters, whether foreign, civil society, or any sources.

Malawians may wish to know that up to US$43.2million of Khato Civils money has been spent so far on the required processes precedent to commencing the project this far. We have spent this much, yet not even a cent has been paid to us. We have a contract with the government of Malawi through Lilongwe Water Board that places obligations on us under the agreement. Any unnecessary delays will be costly and unfortunately, be borne by the people of Malawi who are desperately in need of clean portable water in the Capital City and its surrounding areas.

The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), which was also a subject of contention by those who have no knowledge of where in a project’s life cycle it fits, has been completed and public comments obtained with clear favourable conclusion on the project last week. It is therefore not surprising that the projects’ detractors, who are obviously aware of the results of the ESIA, have now, this week, concocted a new trick to attempt to delay or stop the project.

It must be very clear at this stage of the project, with the amount of money spent this far, by Khato Civils, we will not allow our money to go to waste. We will fight these detractors, foreign or local in the courts in Malawi, any court anywhere in the world or in any forum of their choice.

Project financing arrangements are currently underway with due diligence being performed on the funders. A number of funding options and funders are also being looked at concurrently. The construction section of the project will commence as soon as financing arrangements have been completed.

Khato Civils wishes to assure Malawians, that they will be proud of the quality of works of construction (which is the last section of the project). They will be very proud to have a project delivered to international standards by a company owned by one of their sons of the land.

Our detractors thrive on the myopic concept that a black owned company is incapable of delivering international quality works, which they believe can only be delivered by companies which are foreign or white owned. Any success, by a black owned company is associated with corrupt or fraudulent elements. We are not a mediocre or briefcase entity, Khato Civils is a multi-racial company with international reputation of delivering quality works that surpasses other international construction companies. We have a track record of delivering international quality works in South Africa and other countries in the SADC in record time, exceeding our client’s expectations.

Khato Civils has participated in numerous bids in South Africa and the region. We have lost some and won several. For those that we have won, our delivery has been nothing but the best quality, for which we remain proud of, with completion certificates as testimony of our excellence. We will do nothing short of this in Malawi.

For Malawi to develop, we as Malawians should take charge of our destiny, as this will remain our country, to be developed by none, but ourselves. We must desist from allowing foreign elements and or their agents, use government institutions, civil society or any Malawian organization to fight amongst ourselves for their selfish interests. This project is a Malawian project, will benefit Malawians, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for years to come.

We wish to assure all Malawians that Khato Civils will undertake the project to the satisfaction of all stakeholders and the benefit of the country.

For all further inquiries, contact the chief executive officer, Mr. Mongezi Mnyani on +27826025358 or email info@khatocivils.com

Source –  Malawi News Agency Online

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