Police honours K10bn Sattar rations contract

…..Sattar supplies overpriced rations

Over priced and controversial rations that Malawi Police Services paid US$7 million (K10,5bn) to Zuneth Sattar have been delivered to the law enforcers, signalling that government intends to honour the contract.

Zuneth Sattar is being accused of bribing Malawi Government officials and former Inspector General of Police George Kainja was arrested alongside former Chairperson of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Agency (DPP) John Suzi Banda allegedly for facilitating the deal.

The Investigator Magazine has found out that despite government announcing it had stopped buying rations for the Police, the first consignment of two trucks arrived at Area 30 Police Headquarters on 9 February 2023. The consignment was offloaded on 10th February.

Police Mobile Services staff said they got K3,000 lieu of rations for the same operation which is K28,000 cheaper than Sattars rations price.

Four more trucks two Volvo’s and two freightliners with CA plates arrived at the Area 30 on Friday 17th February and were being offloaded on Saturday morning.

According to several Police officers, the first of the rations were used on Monday 13 February 2023 during President Lazarus Chakwera official launch of the cholera campaign at Mgona in Lilongwe.

Police Public Relations Officer Peter Kalaya said he would revert to the Investigator Magazine. We could not verify if any new payment has been made to Sattar whose accounts and property are frozen in Malawi and United Kingdom.

Sattar, according to the United Kingdoms National Crime Agency (NCA) signed under President Lazarus Chakwera administration a contract for Xavier Limited to supply the MPS with 350,000 ration food packs was signed and agreed on the 14th of September 2021. The value of the contract was US$7,875,000.

“When asked why he charged the Malawian government US$24 per item for “ration packs” that he had purchase from a company in South Africa for US$8 per pack he claimed it was just good business and all profit. He denied that the real reason for the large price increase was to cover the bribes and other payments he had to make to obtain and keep the lucrative contract. He claimed that it was reasonable, based on what the previous person was charging the government,” the NCA said.

The UK crime bursting agency said on 21st December 2020 Sattar who was being recorded clandestinely was heard instructing an employee of Xaviar Ltd, Ashok Sreedharan that he needs to make cash payments to several people. Sreedharan flew out of the UK the following day.

Sattar had earlier under the DPP regime bought 1 524 000 ration packs using his company Xaviar Limited at US8 (K10,400) each at today’s exchange rate and sold to Malawi Police Services at a whopping USD24 (K31 2000 each.

“Between 15th July 2019 and 24th March 2020 Xaviar Limited purchased at least 1,524,000 “24 hour ration packs” from Serac Nutritional Products (SNP) in South Africa for US$8  each. It sold them to the Malawi Police Service (“MPS”) for US$ 24.00 each.  It is believed that Sattar created invoices between a UAE company called Malachitte FZE, of which he is the sole owner, and Xaviar Limited in order to give the impression that there were multiple supply chains to fulfil the contract. The additional company created a buffer through which Sattar had an opportunity to inflate the price ultimately charged,” said the NCA in its May 2022 Court submissions.

The consignment was said to have been excessive compared to the number of police officers that they were intended for estimated to be at 16 000. The numbers supplied equated to sufficient ration packs to provide at least one ration pack per officer per day for every day, for a year.

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