Malawi’s national Food agency board sends CEO on forced leave over ‘Maizegate’

18
1,506 views

Malawi’s Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) board which met in Blantyre last Friday ordered chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe to go on forced leave to pave way for investigations on the Zambia maize deal.

Mr Mulumbe, including Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister George Chaponda, are implicated in the Maize gate scandal that they may have indulged in corruption.

Admarc board chairperson James Masumbu confirmed that the board resolved that Mr Mulumbe should “go on leave” to pave way for the Commission of Inquiry to complete its probe on the misprocurement.

According to Mr Masumbu, Deputy Chief Executive of Admarc, Mrs Margret Mauwa will be stand-in CEO for the state-trader.

However, Mr. Masumbu said Mr. Mulumbe should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise by the Commission of Inquiry established to investigate the maize deal between State grain trader Admarc and Zambian private company, Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Ltd.

Malawian President Peter Mutharika instituted a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the scam in which Admarc reportedly bought maize at K26 billion (Malawian Kwacha) from the Zambian company and it is believed that Malawi could have saved about K9.5 billion ((Malawian Kwacha) if it had bought the grain directly from the Zambian government.

The use of a middleman, Kaloswe, is raising suspicion that officials may have indulged in corruption when Malawi government is on record to have said Mr Chaponda was in discussion with the Zambian government over the maize deal, and at some point, engaged in discussions directly with President Edgar Lungu.

Meanwhile, civil society organisations in Malawi are calling for an investigation into the death of Judge of the High Court of Malawi George Bakuwa in Zambia while on a tour of duty for Admarc.

Judge Bakuwa, who was a private practice lawyer and served as company secretary at Admarc., died barely two weeks after taking his oath of office as judge.

He died after a short illness at his hotel room at Protea Hotel in Lusaka.

Bakuwa has been in Zambia in recent weeks on Admarc duty for maize purchase and had been lodging at Protea Hotel.

Now following allegations of corrupt elements in the ‘maizegate’ leaders of the country’s key CSOs, including Public Affairs Committee (PAC), Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen), Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) and Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec), are calling for Bakuwa’s death be investigate.

Others are Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Youth and Society (YAS) and Citizen Alliance.

There has been speculation that Bakuwa may have been poisoned after he expressed reservation on the ‘cashgate’ style of corruption in the procurement saga.

They say government should have released details on the circumstances that led to Bakuwa’s death and the treatment provided to him.

But Malawian Government Spokesperson Nicholas Dausi has dismissed the calls for investigations into Bakuwa’s death.
“We should not overstretch our focus,” he said.

He said the matter to be addressed now is the investigations into how Admarc handled the procurement of the purported 100 000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF).

Admarc has been accused of engaging a privately-owned Zambian company Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Limited which purportedly played the role of middleman in the deal.

The Zambian company has since reportedly dragged Admarc to court for breach of contract, having already done so with the Zambia Cooperative Federation over similar charges.

Admarc reportedly paid about K26 billion ((Malawian Kwacha) which government borrowed from the PTA Bank for the purchase of the maize which is about K9.5 billion (Malawian Kwacha) more than the estimated K15 billion ((Malawian Kwacha) it could have paid had it bought the maize directly from the Zambian Government.

18 COMMENTS

  1. +5
    -1
    vote

    As it should be, not here in Zambia where corruption reigns supreme.
    By the way, how much is mealie meal after visionless Lungu had a “fruitful meeting” with the millers yesterday?
    The Skeleton Key
    ~206|

    • +3
      -1
      vote

      Why are we so silent over this scandal? What happened to our very vibrant & militant civil society?
      This is what happens when immorality (including tribalism) becomes a way of life. In the ’90s early ’00 this wouldn’t happen. The Post would be operational because we would never have allowed for its closure (of the Post is also guilty of the status quo ‘coz of their bedding Sata). Levy is guilty because of his NGO bill. Above all, all adult citizens are guilty for becoming so gullible. With this attitude FTJ (or maybe KK) would still be president of this country.

    • +2
      -1
      vote

      itizi turu~The ACC & PFolice are waiting for visionless Lungu to tell them that~go ahead. Unfortunately it won’t happen, blind Dagama is the chief executive of this scandal.
      The Skeleton Key
      ~206~

    • 0
      -1
      vote

      If I buy a shirt at Cuty market at K2 and then I sale to Nostradamus at K3.50 and then Nostradamus sales it to NEZ at K4.50 who is corrupt?

  2. +3
    -1
    vote

    Surely this is nonsense!! How can our Government be quiet? how can the opposition parties be quiet? where is investigative journalism? after telling us the middle men were Kaloswe or whatever, please go to the registrar of companies tell us who the shareholders are and we will draw our own conclusions? ask the shareholders regarding this issue? ask the hotel where the judge stayed for their statement? what did they do? what are their emergency procedures? was he seen by a doctor? the integrity of the nation is at hand, and we are all asleep?

    • vote

      Chali: The quilty are always afraid and they run away from their own shadows. If you have nothing to fear don’t be scared just keep quite. That’s exactly what is happening. Why do you want the government to comment on matters that do not concern them? Contracts were signed and maize was sold period! If the people who came to sign the contracts and pay for the maize did not follow their procedures let them handle it themselves. Legal documents entered into through the normal channels are very difficult to align them to corruption. What is not written is not agreed upon so the adage goes! Therefore if it is written then it was agreed upon and that creates a huge legal battler for you and I to say it was not agreed upon.

  3. +1
    0
    vote

    Indeed takes two to tango so if there’s suspected corruption on the Malawi side of this deal surely the Anti Corruption Commission here in Zambia should also be investigating. Have they started an investigation?

    • +1
      0
      vote

      You are dealing with a nation where a Guy “Lawyer” who embezzled a clients finances was allowed to get to State House.
      Pigs would fly if sanity, & fight against graft was taken seriously in such a nation.

  4. vote

    At a certain church a parishioner was tasked to sell maize on their behalf. He successfully sold the stuff at the agreed price. But months later it was discovered that the man had sold the maize at a higher price and pocketed the difference. The revelation was made by one clerk who didn’t get his cut as agreed. That judge could have committed suicide for the reason as above.

  5. vote

    It takes two to tango. Find out who is invobvedf on the Zambian side. The press should be viguilant and inform the nation on the culprits on the Zambian side. Why are we so silent over this maizegate scandal? What happened to our very vigilant, ever alert, vibrant and militant civil society? This is a very serious issue on which the nation must be kept informed.NOTHING SHOULD BE HIDDEN OR CONCEALED. We needf asbsokute trasnsparency. Chinangwa

  6. vote

    The Dr (xevia fimofimo))has provided evidence to the ACC concerning this issue. The problem is, your vision less leader and Donputy dora are involved in this scum, So the ACC can not do anything for fear of losing their jobs or death or both. Can you imagine they have just recovered properties that Chiluba bought many years after his death. How about this one when he is still alive? That is the reason they closed the post, imagine if the post was not involved in unearthing the corruption of FJT, the K40M recovered would have been a pipe dream. The trick is first close the post, intimidate all these private radio stations, muzzle the press and the steal in the name of praying for a bumper harvest and at the same enriching themselves.

    • vote

      The Post is still active through the Mast which carries the same style and caters for the same readership. Besides even without the Post, the rumour mill is still running.

  7. +1
    0
    vote

    Quote from Obama ‘s farewell speech : “If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try talking to one in real life “. I would like to meet one of you guys in person.

  8. +1
    0
    vote

    Quote from Obama ‘s farewell speech : “If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try talking to one in real life “. I would like to meet one of you guys in person.

Comments are closed.