The Public-Private Parnership Bill, recently passed by Parliament inspite of strong protestation by the opposition, is a licence that the Tonse Allince Government has given to itself to steal public money. It is a recipe for corruption and a clear testimony of the Government’s determination to loot.
Public-Private partneships are complex arrangements for huge public projects. The Government wants to solicit these huge public projects secretly, without advertisement or competition; and negotiate them behind closed doors.
Further, the Government has given itself the power to receive unsolicited bids for projects that Government does not have in its plans, and also to negotiate them in secret, without publicity and without competition.
What is more; all decisions and approvals for such projects will be made by one Minister: the Minister of Finance. An opposition proposal to have the whole Cabinet give the nod, to achieve some form of internal checks, was rejected by the Tonse Government.
Moving forward, for large projects in Malawi, forget the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act. It will be pushed to the dustbin of the history of accountability. Malawians must now brace themselves for government looting under the power of the law.
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