By Nenenji Mlangeni
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) Deputy Chief Executive Officer Gerald Viola faces the chop from the institution after he single handedly gave a contract a firm through a Local Purchase Order (L.P.O) for the supply of maize amounting to a whooping MK3.3 billion, we can reveal.
Viola, a former presidential press secretary and a failed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member of parliament aspirant, gave the contract to Lilongwe based Missiels Trading Company on January 22, 2020 without following proper procedure.
Insiders said Viola demanded a 10% cut from the deal which translates to MK330 million and this opened a Pandora’s Box.
“People started questioning about this deal and it was brought to the attention of management which summoned Viola to a disciplinary hearing. He accepted the charge and apologized,” said an insider privy to the issue.
According to the L.P.O number 6750 that we have seen, Viola gave Missiels Trading of Private Bag 26, Lilongwe a contract to supply 10,000 metric tonnes of maize at MK330 per kg.
He signed for it and indicated his mobile number +265 999 367 227.
“NFRA does not use L.P.O for maize purchases, it uses contract agreements and this has to go through the Internal procurement Committee (IPC) but Viola used his position as Deputy CEO to issue the contract, ignoring the IPC,” said a source at NFRA.
Another source who corroborated the story said the disciplinary hearing is in process and Viola accepted wrong doing and apologized.
“Management is cautious on how to deal with him because of the way he came here but to be fair this issue will result in summary dismissal but we are yet to see what will happen to Viola,” said the source.
Viola refused to comment on the matter saying he is aware that some people want to bring him down.