The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has ordered the National Oil Commission of Malawia, NOCMA, to procure fuel using the ex-tank method and not the Delivered Duty Unpaid, DDU, method, which NOCMA, through it’s controversial acting CEO, Hellen Buluma, had been adamantly insisting it would follow despite reservations from from regulators like MERA and other stakeholders.
The DDU method entails that the seller takes responsibility for the safe delivery of goods including taking care of transportation costs and in transit risks. With this method, however, suppliers identify transporters themselves, an element that is not favored by local transporters in Malawi who have argued that they could easily be bypassed for business by suppliers who would frown favoring foreign transporters.
DDU has also been argued to be more expensive than the ex – tank method. With the ex-tank method entails the seller delivering goods in bulk from a storage tank chosen by the seller.
Buluma however, is on record to have argued that the DDU method might appear expensive but is more secure than the ex-tank method and the costs outweigh the benefits considering the inherent in-transit risks.
The order for NOCMA to adhere to the ex tank method, is contained in a notice of a consent deal, signed by the relatively, freshly minted ACB Director, who is also arguably, the highly regarded, former Ombudsman, Martha Chizuma.
The notice reads in part,“…the Anti Corruption Bureau has completed investigations in respect to a suspected offense under the Corrupt Practices Act,“TAKE NOTICE that you may proceed to deal with the procurement process towards the award of the contract under procurement number NOCMA/ICB/FUEL/2020/2021.
The said procurement should follow the ex – tank method as per the existing High Court order”.
The Fuel Tankers Association of Malawian, an umbrella body of fuel transporters in the country obtained a court injunction against NOCMA’s use of the DDU method in the procurement of fuel.