Tractorgate in Malawi

Patience Abeck

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi Government has apologized for purchasing farm equipment with archaic technology using part of the US$50,000,000 line of credit from Export-Import Bank of India.

The scam dubbed as “Tractorgate” witnessed a number of politicians buying the tractors at give away prices that raised questions.

A statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD) says the apology follows an order by the Ombudsman to do so for “acting contrary to the requirements of the laws and codes of conduct regarding procurement and disposal of the equipment”.

Government sold all the equipment, including 177 Sonalika tractors, “to private individuals and farmers at less their purchase price and on loan basis”.

Reads part of the apology:” The MoAIWD would like to admit to have failed to conduct a proper needs assessment in the beneficiary institutions to guide what equipment should be procured using the loan. ]

“We were at fault, and sincerely apologise for the irregular procurement and disposal of the equipment.”