Thursday, January 26, 2017

OXFAM Calls for Logical Conclusion on Malawi-Zambia ‘Maizegate’
January 26, 2017

Oxfam-Malawi says it expects the findings, revelations and recommendations from the different inquiries instituted to probe the Malawi maize purchase will help ensure that public resources are used for public interest.

In its statement, Oxfam-Malawi said it acknowledges the milestone attained so far into the matter by both state and non-state actors and expects an unyielding probe into the matter.

“Given the importance of maize in Malawians’ life and the severity of the current food insecurity situation, Oxfam, like many Malawians, expects unyielding probe into the matter from those that have been given the responsibility to do so and similarly from those that have duly taken up the active role to probe into the matter,” reads the statement in part.

The organization further says it is highly interested that the matter is drawn to its logical conclusion and that those involved in the allegations are brought to book.

“It is the belief of Oxfam in Malawi that the humanitarian response in Malawi cannot be successful without institutions such as ADMARC playing their important part. And it is the expectation of Oxfam in Malawi that ADMARC will continue playing its role in transparency and accountable manner to ensure that the vulnerable households are able to easily access the food they need, particularly now when over 6.5 million people missed their food entitlements,” highlights the statement.

President Peter Mutharika instituted a commission of inquiry to investigate how maize from Zambia was purchased by ADMARC after the local media published articles alleging that there was a botched deal between Zambia and Malawi where billions of tax payers’ money was swindled.

Meanwhile, officials from a parliamentary inquiry on the procurement of maize say they will go to Zambia next week to probe more on how Admarc procured maize from Zambia.

Chairman of the inquiry Dr Jospeh Chidanti Malunga said the inquiry would be complete if some of the officials visit Zambia.

“We will go to Zambia after we finish the investigations this week,” said Malunga.

Two committees of Parliament—the Public Accounts Committee and the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development—are conducting an inquiry into the procurement of maize by State grain marketer – Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) – to establish whether there was an element of fraud and corruption in the deal.

Malunga conceded however that the inquiry has not yet connected Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda and Admarc CEO Foster Mulumbe to corruption element in the procurement of maize.

He, however, said it was too early to say the two were not involved in suspicious dealings.

Malunga said there were what he called misprocurement and some procurement regulations were not followed.

The Parliamentary Agriculture Committee and the Public Accounts Committee which forms the parliamentary inquiry finishes its job this Friday.

Both Chaponda and Mulumbe denies any wrong doing.

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