The government of Malawi has suspended the issuance of two mobile licences awarded to Lacell of Singapore and Dubai-based Expresso Telecommunications Group by the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) in April 2009.
According to a report by Bizcommunity.com, the government came to its decision after concerns were raised when MACRA issued a pair of concessions having only advertised one for sale. The matter was subsequently investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), with former Information and Civic Education Minister Patricia Kaliati reportedly at the centre of the probe.
The minister is alleged to have ordered MACRA to award what would have been the fourth mobile licence to Expresso when it was Lacell that was chosen as the winner. Instead of leaving out either of the two, MACRA awarded concessions to both companies. The ACB is expected to investigate the two cellcos as well as MACRA board chair Thengo Maloya, who told the bureau that it was Kaliati that approved the awarding of both licences.