…can’t be fired, Board approved his expensive car
…waste, impunity reigns unchecked at MACRA
Daudi Suleman, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) Director General continues to make headlines for the wrong reasons, and despite single-handedly ordering arrests of others for misprocurement, he is deep into his personal vehicle dosage which completely ignored the Internal Procurement and Disposal Committee.
Insiders claim his impunity transcends from travelling every month to ordering that his personal party bodyguard recruited as a messenger at MACRA should be bought a K2 million mobile phone handset against set rules.
He is also allegedly sitting on a sexual harassment case against his closest ally after a complaint was filed by a female employee at the MACRA’s muni project.
The man the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) believes will save them using technology in the 2025 elections, has flown his expired board to Dubai, paid for an ex-employee travel on MACRA budget, and went above board to get an expensive vehicle against the set limits.
“His value to the party is more than what he is being accused of being a waste. Nobody can fire him,” a senior party official told The Investigator Magazine on Saturday, saying Daudi, Anthony Bendulo, and Mr. Sambo were the technology brains behind MCP as a party.
MCP Boards tussle
Boards that had three-year tenures have had their mandates expired and the Electricity Generating Company (EGENCO) Board which rejected Ministry of Energy overtures to give Kamkwamba Coal Mine to a preferred company Jindall was dissolved unceremoniously.
MACRA Board, which is normally stuffed with politically connected and closer to-power personalities also term expired, and already rumours are flying that the powerful Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba is ready to pounce on Sulieman.
“You might see a former OPC staff go to MACRA just to ensure that Daudi has a tough time during the remaining months of his contract. He disregarded the Treasury instructions on moving MACRA head office, he defied the Minister of Information on Multichoice, he has not made many friends in government or the party,” said our source close to OPC.
Daud has been at loggerheads in social media forums related to ICT with party tech teams and open castigations have seen him being underrated publicly in terms of technology expertise.
“Unless the President intervenes as he listens to him, the new Board should be an interesting period for MACRA DG,” suggested the party source.
There are more tussles about new appointments both for boards of state-owned enterprises and government positions as contracts are expiring and SPC Zamba is being accused of stuffing with loyalists disregarding the State House.
MACRA DG tenure coming to an end, the vehicle he will get it
Government policy to allow vehicle users to buy their official vehicles at 10 percent value could be a reason the MACRA boss was driven to pick the expensive version of Toyota VX, the story broke by the Weekend Nation shows that the IPDC was completely disregarded.
“In his fight against Multichoice, he was very loud about following regulations. Now he forgot to follow simple regulations about the ceiling of his entitlement and went for a K13 million more expensive car without proper approval. This is a serious issue for a guy who has been pursuing others claiming they broke the law,” said our MACRA source.
Daud apart from Multichoice is named in a Judicial review application recently granted to three former MACRA IPDC members who claim he ordered their arrest as having done that because they failed to follow procurement rules.
“By completely ignoring the IPDC and the approved PPDA ceilings as the law requires, he literally broke the law. He is the same man who used Police to arrest Evelyn Mwapasa and Fergus Lipenga among others for the very same reasons he finds himself entangled in,” said another top government official in the communications sector.
MCP double standards
Daud was President Lazarus Chakwera’s assistant from around 2013, and like other cases, he is likely to escape any legal wrath, unlike others like former ADMARC CEO Rhino Chiphiko who lost his job for buying a vehicle beyond what was approved.
In May 2022, Chiphiko was suspended after he bought a K107 million Nissan Patrol against the Admarc board’s decision a month earlier to buy a smaller and cheaper vehicle. The MACRA DG went above the approved PPDA authorisation and ignored the IPDC.
The Weekend Nation called it a “misprocurement” as the decision to buy a Toyota Prado 2.8 TD Auto VXL 2800 was not discussed and approved by the IPDC.
“The IPDC was sidelined in the entire process of deciding to buy a vehicle that is beyond the director general’s entitlement. Short-cuts were used, and they maneuvered to buy the VXL,” the paper quoted its source.
However, the MCP’s double standards have been evident with all its officials entangled in suspected illegal financial transactions never facing the law while its alliance partner UTM officials like former Energy Minister Newton Kambala and Vice President Saulos Chilima are being dragged before the courts.
“They do act very fast against Tonse Alliance partners. From firing a professional AG to getting rid of Ministers they don’t want. Nobody from MCP has ever been arrested or fired for breaking the law. Their apparent double standards are very evident,” charged a Tonse Alliance official.
Daud himself described the information by the Weekend Nation as “wrong” but did not provide any response according to the newspaper.
The MCP is battling to stay in power after its popularity ratings have plummeted to 15 percent and most respected pollsters are predicting a landslide loss of the party that scandal-ridden party has projected impunity and wastefulness of public resources.