Governance experts and human rights activists raised eyebrows at how Shiraz Fereirra-owned SF International continues to receive multi-billion kwacha contracts with the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) and Malawi Police to supply military equipment when the company was embroiled in Cashgate in 2013 was and at one time the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) stopped some contracts with MDF and police.
Fereirra allegedly persuaded MDF and police colonels to dominate security contracts despite his dirty past related to Cashgate, in which he pocketed billions of kwacha without delivering any goods.
The Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has since called for a full investigation into how SF International signs contracts to supply trucks and armored vehicles despite the company’s 2013 history of cheating taxpayers out of billions of kwachas MDF and the police got through shady deals that included an inflation of the bills.
SF International and the owner Ferreira are said to have enjoyed the government’s favor between July 17 and August 7, 2013, with a total of 468,820,000 K being withdrawn in a questionable manner by the vote of the Ministry of Finance of the Malawi Defense Force through over-invoicing as cash.
“It is surprising that a company that was involved in cashgate in 2013 continues to receive orders for the delivery of military equipment. This also happens when ACB recently terminated some contracts with MDF and Police on suspicion of corruption.
“SF International and Ferreira’s business needs to be suspended and investigated by ACB and other government agencies,” said Sylvester Namiwa, executive director of CDEDI.
According to sources from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA), the majority of the contracts were offered as part of RFQs, single sourcing and, to a lesser extent, restricted tendering.
Ironically, ACB, Police and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) got cold feet in 2014 for a full investigation of SF International and Ferreirra, and attempts were made to rid the company of any wrongdoing.
Ferreira has been involved in a number of money laundering and tax evasion-related offenses, and at one point a case was withdrawn by the MRA after the two parties reached a settlement.
The government had to form a joint task force involving the Financial Police, the Malawi Revenue Authority, and the FIA to catch a man who had been at the center of Malawi’s dubious defense treaties for decades but apparently got away with it all the time.
But our sources at ACB say that ACB’s new director-general Martha Chizuma devoted significant resources to the Ferreira investigation.
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