..suspected of violating Immigration rules
…Welder becomes Manager
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has launched an investigation into how Mota Engil top brass are being recruited and offered roles that are not in conformity with their business or residence permit.
The company’s communications department indicated that it will not be able to comment.
The probe is an indication of continuing fall for grace of the one time monopoly in public road construction sector which was associated with their support to the ruling party.
Since the Tonse Alliance came into power, Mota Engils dominance has been reduced and it lost a rail project in Marka, which led to the arrest of former Transport Ministry Principal Secretary Patrick Zimpita and that of the ministry ’s chief procurement officer Michael Mbewe on April 19 this year for allegedly publishing a notification of intention to award a contract before approval from Government Contracting Unit (GCU).
According to an internal report dated 7 June 2023 which The Investigator Magazine has seen, the probe centres on Ricardo Andre Teixeira De Almeida, who hold a permanent residence issued on 18th February 2022, was
reported to be working in three positions as the General Manager Malawi Shipping and Malawi Ports Company, Director of Finance for Mota Engil in Malawi.
“The investigation confirmed that Employee Mr Ricardo indeed holds these positions simultaneously,” reads the part of the report.
Another top gun under probe is David Manuel Leal Oliveira who possesses a two year work permit issued on 8th March, 2022 and will expire on 7th March 2024.
“Initially applied for a position as a welder. However, the investigation uncovered that Mr David Manuel Leal Oliveira is also functioning as the in-charge of Mota Engil in Monkebay. This constitutes a violation of their work permit, as it exceeds the approved scope of their employment,” adds the report which states they visited Mota Engil on 6th of June.
The compliance section states that the preliminary findings suggest that they are engaged in role doubling or tripling, contrary to the specifications outlined in their
respective work permit applications.
“These findings raise concerns regarding compliance with immigration regulations and the potential misrepresentation of job responsibilities during the permit application process,” suggest the report proposing that the department should do further investigation be conducted “to gather additional evidence and statements from the concerned employees and relevant stakeholders at Mota Engil.”
When asked about the probe, Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale Ng’oma said he was not aware of the individual cases but what he knows is the Director General of Immigration Brigdier General Charles Kalumo (rtd) was working to sanitize the systems.
“We don’t look at who or what you are. There are no sacred cows in this clean up. We are looking at compliance and having right permits,” said Zikhale Ng’oma who said the Department drive will ensure qualified Malawians are not deprived of jobs.
Communications Manager at MOTA Engil Thomas Chafunya said he could not comment on the matter.