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Agriculture Minister Lowe loses AIP chairpersonship amid MK750m dubious payout

Lowe removed as AIP chair

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) has fired Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe as Affordable Input Program (AIP) chairperson amid MK750 million dubious payout.

The OPC has therefore appointed Lands Minister Sam Kawale as new chairperson for a committee responsible for implementation AIP.

But Tonse government spokesperson Gospel Kazako said leadership in such committees is rotational and does not mean that the line minister will always have to be the chair.

“There are several committees on several tasks. It is not a must that a line minister should be the Chairperson.

“In the case of Energy Committee, for example, Hon Sosten Gwengwe is the Chairperson. Similarly, Hon Sam Kawale is the chair for AIP Committee and the Ministry of Agriculture is the Head of the Committee Secretariat,” said Kazako.

The minister added that the new committee was constituted four months ago and does not in any way reflect loss of confidence in the previous Chairperson.

There are serious questions surrounding implementation of the 2022/23 AIP program after revelations that government has been ‘duped’ in a fertiliser deal involving a United Kingdom (UK) firm which terminated a contract after pocketing partial payment amounting to MK750 million.

Meanwhile civil rights group and opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have pressed the removal of Lowe as Agriculture Minister for mess up.

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