Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Violet Chipao has reserved bail ruling for Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority CEO Collins Magalasi, MERA spokesperson Patrick Maulidi and business woman Dorothy Shonga (cash madam) to Friday July, 31, 2020.
Maulidi and Magalasi are in court on charges of abuse of office, fraud, money laundering with Shonga implicated in the final two.
The charges relate to alleged irregularities in procurement deals at the energy regulator.
Shonga who runs DC Cloud company is said to have links to Magalasi. She also has a personal page on Facebook on which she flaunts her body and riches.
The three were arrested on Monday.
Last Thursday, police arrested Bright Mbewe from MERA’s procurement office for alleged fraud in the procurement of a laboratory van.
MERA has come under the spotlight for purchasing a mobile fuel testing vehicle for a whooping K704 million. The procurement costed MERA K563,200,000 through cheque number 26180 and another cheque of K140, 800,000.00 bringing the total amount to K704 million.
Further digging revealed that the procurement was done through open tender Procurement number MERA: 2/04/2018/08 where City Motors emerged a successful bidder.
Two weeks ago, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) reported to the ACB a suspected case of fraud in the contract agreement for the procurement of the new mobile laboratory fuel testing van.
HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence in a letter sent to ACB dated July 12 2020 said information from a whistle-blower revealed suspected flaws in the implementation of the procurement contract.
“On 7th May 2019, Mera paid City Motors K563,200,000 which translates into 80 percent as advance payment. Our reading of the procurement laws, especially the Procurement Regulations, shows that it is illegal to make advance payment in purchase of goods procured locally,” said the letter in part.
The ACB acknowledged receiving the tip and promised to carry out investigations.