TIZ and CTPD officials addressing the media regarding the Maizegate
TIZ and CTPD officials addressing the media regarding the Maizegate

Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) and the Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) are shocked with the continued silence by government over the revelations coming from Malawi’s Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and water Development citing Zambia’s President and the Minister of Agriculture to have been the main players of the scandalous maize deal.

TIZ and CTPD are particularly shocked that despite many calls from the Media, Civil society Organizations and indeed the Zambian people, there has not been a single response from government to refute or give a position on these serious allegations that have implicated the head of state and the Minister of Agriculture.

The two organizations are on record to have issued statement calling for clarification on the maize gate scandal as it has come to be popularly known in the media.

The two organizations are deeply concerned that a serious issue such as this one alleging impropriety at the highest levels and involving the country’s staple commodity has received such little prominence/attention. This issue has been there for the past 3 months.

In Malawi, some people have been suspended, the President has commissioned an inquiry demonstrating the gravity of the issue. Here in Zambia, no one wants to talk about it, but people have the time to debate about a third term six months down the line of a re-election. In our opinion, the third term debate is premature at this point, the country has got more pressing problems we also find it absurd that the minister of Agriculture has the time to respond to comments about her social life but neglects to a critical issue with potential food security implications.

As organizations who believe in Transparency and Accountability, we think that it is only prudent that government comes out on this matter and explain to the Zambian people what really happened. The Zambian people need answers from republican president on the following concerns.

1. Who instructed the exportation of Maize while the maize ban was in effect?

2. Who are the beneficial owners of the company “Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Limited” purported to have been the ‘middleman’ and only company allowed to export maize to Malawi when it was clear that the maize ban was in effect.

3. If, as purported by the Malawian government, that this was a government to government deal, at what point did Kaloswe Commuters and Couriers Ltd enter the equation? Is the company also part of the Zambian government?

4. Why are we exporting 100 000 metric tons of maize grain when the Food Reserve Agency has had serious challenges in meeting the stipulated 500,000 metric tons threshold?

5. Why has the Zambian government kept quiet when information is already out there in the public domain that the procurement of maize from Zambia could have been done without following laid down procedures and procurement regulations.

TIZ and CTPD questions Governments resolve and commitment to the fight against corruption if we are allowing such serious issues to silently go under the carpet. We wonder What has happened to the declared stance of dismissing all Ministers and public officials involved in corruption?

We are appealing to the Zambian leaders to take their leadership roles conferred upon them by the Zambian people very seriously. They need to realize that they have a responsibility to be accountable to their employers who happen to be the Zambian Citizens. Accountability entails answerability to the people that gave you the mandate to lead. Our leaders need to begin to respect the voters.

We insist that Government should come out in the public and help the citizens know what exactly transpired in the maize gate scandal Even if it is not Zambian money, $34.5 million is a lot of money for a struggling country like malawi, a country that has been hit hard with food shortages following a drought in the last agriculture season. This is money which should have benefited the people of Malawi but has seemingly gone into private hands.. More importantly, the name of the country is being dragged in the mud with regards to its credibility to trade reliably. The international community is watching and what do we think such scandal will do to the name of the country. If people are not concerned about their own integrity, at least let them be concerned about the integrity of Zambia. There some people in government who have answers to these questions, people who met the Malawian Minister, people who signed permits, contracts, licenses and other authorizing documents. These are the people that should provide answers.

We are therefore demanding that either the ministry in question or the office of the president comes out to update the people of Zambia on the countries position with regards to the allegations”. Malawi is doing their part, as we speak according to Nyasa Times, “their Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development suspect that the transactions of maize purchase from Zambia had corruption characteristics and parliament has demanded an investigation into the procurement process”. We as TIZ and CTPD suggest that our Parliament should equally take keen interest in the matter and demand for accountability so that if anyone is found wanting they can be brought to book.

We further urge the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to share with the public how far they have investigations, we understand that they were saved with a letter from Malawi’s Anti Corruptions Institution, it is our expectation that the Zambian anti-corruption will do due diligence in their work so that they can quickly identify all the culprits. If such drastic measures are not taken, it might imply that the president’s anti-corruption pronouncements were merely aimed at gaining political mileage and sympathy from the Zambian people. The Zambian people will also assume that indeed corruption did take place and those allegations incriminating our leaders could have some truth in them.

WESLEY CHIBAMBA ISAAC MWAIPOPO
Ag Executive Director Ag Executive Director
TIZ CTPD

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12 COMMENTS

  1. If these two organisations have full evidence of the involvement of the president and minister they should take action…..just because one accusses does not mean the accused is guilty or should respond unless by action of an authority.In Zambia too many people talk too much so how many things can you answer to

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    • Under PF bandits of visionless Lungu everything is rotten to the worst part, stinking bass corruption.
      Now how much is mealie meal today PF bandits?
      The Skeleton Key
      ~206~
      What about the economy & load shedding, or else the presidential petition must be heard without confused delays by PF banditry judges.

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    • Where there is SMOKE there is FIRE !

      The silence of Lungu and Dora speaks volumes by itself. If they were innocent they would have made statements long time ago!

      These thieves are keeping quiet and trying to divert attention by 2021 hoping to sweep their misdeeds under the carpet.

      What have Zambians done to have these criminals steal National resources in broad daylight and expect to get away with it scot free?

      PF have trashed the ACC, the Police and the Judiciary just to facilitate their criminal activities.

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    • What is your problem? Can’t you feel the deafening silence from people who facilitated this transaction on the Zambian side while Malawi is trying their best. Whom are you trying to protect? Let them speak for themselves not you speaking about things you don’t even know. Who doesn’t know that Lungu is a devil in sheep skin?

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  2. These two NGO why use AG’s to issue statements.
    People focus your energies where it helps others & not to please your pay Masters!!

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  3. The closed the Post why the government can’t talk about this issue. Its because someone in government is involved.

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  4. Corruption within borders can be hidden but when it involves another country, that more complicated. The Zambia Govt should provide answers to the many questions relating the the maizegate corruption scandle. The fact that the President even hosted the Malawian Minister, who has since been suspended in Malawi explains the silence our government has taken. Looks like they are praying to hear that the case is closed in Malawi with no one found wanting. Only then will they come out and say ‘well the transaction was clean’, as for now they are simply watching the stage in Malawi. This further shows how weak our institutions are at protecting the general public, It explains many questionable judgements we have heard from the judiciary and other institutions.

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  5. Looking at the duo one can without doubt conclude they are hungry to make “news”. Do they not know the issue is being investigated? If they have information it is better given to investigators rather than call a press briefing. RUBBISH.

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  6. These Guys Should do better than this.LT has news showing response from the minister regarding this issue.She was also on Sunday interview responding to the same issue.These Organizations are behaving like made pipo.The Best they should have done was to ask questions in response to what the minister had responded concerning the same issue.

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  7. Its difficult for Zambia’s Anti corruption to effectively deal with the issue if Edgar Lungu is involved. They will be fired and TIZ and other organisations will not help them. The only time people will speak against Lungu is when he is out of power. They will bring all accusations to please whoever will be president then. So ACC will do nothing in this matter.

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