The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Malawi has confirmed that it is sending three of its investigators to Zambia to probe the procurement of 100 000 metric tonnes (MT) of maize from Malawi’s western neighbour.
However, ACB director Lucas Kondowe could not say when the investigators will leave for Zambia.
Kondowe said the bureau has since taken up the matter to investigate and will work in conjunction with the Anti-Corruption Commission of Zambia to analyse documents related to the deal to establish, if there was an element of corruption.
The ‘maizegate scandal is involving K26 billion Malawian Kwacha.
State trader Admarc insists that it is buying the staple grain from Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), a government agency, despite documents show that Admarc may have used a private Zambian company that may be more expensive than if the deal were government-to-government.
Admarc has reportedly paid $34.5 million (about K26 billion Malawian Kwacha) for the maize, which is $13 million (about K9.5 billion Malawian Kwacha) more than the $21.5 million (about K15 billion Malawian Kwacha) it could have paid had it bought the maize from Zambian Government.
But both ZCF Executive Director James Chirwa and Malawi’s Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, George Chaponda, claimed that no payment has been done to the maize that has already been ferried into Malawi because one of the terms on the contract was that ADMARC will only start paying when ZCF deliverers 10,000 tones.