Fresh details emerging on the Zambia maize saga show that officials involved in the maize deal between Admarc and Kaloswe had planned to cheat Malawians as they set to supply only a few tonnes of maize but ask for payment for the entire 100, 000 tonnage of the grain according to The Daily Times paper.
Sources close to the deal confided in the paper that Admarc connived with officials from Zambia to purchase only a few tonnes as Zambia Cooperative Federation did not have the needed 100,000 metric tonnes.
Although these details are fresh, they are not at all surprising as earlier last week Admarc boss Foster Mulumbe admitted before members of a parliamentary joint committee of Agriculture and Public Accounts that both Zambian traders–Kaloswe and ZCF–had neither maize nor capacity to supply maize to Malawi but went ahead anyway to contract with them.
“It’s very clear that ZCF could not manage to supply the 100,000 tonnes and so the question is why Admarc did sign such a contract when the supplier had no capacity? The plan was to move only few tonnes and pay for 100,000 tonnes,” the paper quotes the source.
According to the paper, the source further disclosed that ZCF is money-deficient and has serious problems sourcing the maize from cooperative members because the profits to be realized are small and the cooperatives are demanding on-point cash payments.
Speaking when he appeared before the parliamentary joint committee on the maizegate last week Secretary to the Treasury Ronald Mangani frankly told the joint committe members that Admarc officials by-passed the seat of government in going ahead to sign the contract as it did with Kaloswe and ZFC. He asid that in doing so Admarc officials gravely breached procedures.
Other government officials from the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and Office of Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) have given the parliamentary joint committee on maizegate differing information which seriously points to shady dealings in the maize procurement scandal.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary joint committee plans to visit Zambia to gather more information on the maizegate to beef up its finding.
The Government of Malawi borrowed K24 billion from PTA Bank for the purchase of the 100,000 metric tonnes of maize to alleviate hunger as it was forecast that many Malawians would face hunger this year.