A Singaporean company of an Asian origin born in Malawi is facing hitches on the $14 million maize import deal over suspicion of criminal impropriety on the Zambia maize procurement, Nyasa Times understands.
The Singaporean maize deal was sealed without any sort of evaluation.
The company which was awarded the contract is called LE Mans International based in Singapore with headquarters in Mauritius, sources indicated.
The address of the company is listed as: 6 floor highcross building Bayfront Avenue, #B3-314/33@8B2-36/3GCrystal Pavilion North, Singapore 018972, Marina Singapore
Chief operations officer for Le Mans International Miss Zoe Ikghyanivich confirmed the supply and an agreement of receipt of contract.
She confirmed that payment was received and delivery made.
But following the controversial maize deal between State grain trader Admarc and Zambian private company, Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Ltd, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development is pulling the plug on the tender.
However, Zoe Ikghyanivich argues that the Zambia saga has nothing to do with her compnay.
Malawi has been importing maize to avert food shortages after flooding and drought wrecked last year’s harvest.
“Maizegate” has prompted a group of 18 civil society organizations called the National Advocacy Platform to push for greater transparency in the maize procurement process.
“There are suspicions that some steps were not followed,” said Billy Mayaya, a rights activist.
The National Advocacy Platform wrote an open letter to President Peter Mutharika asking him to suspend Agriculture Minister George Chaponda, who is accused of direct — and illegal — involvement in the maize purchase.
Chaponda said his only involvement was “minimal” when he met with the president of Zambia to discuss the status of the deal, after Zambia announced that it had banned maize exports.
Malawi government spokesman Nicholas Dausi has said Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister Gorge Chaponda and Admarc chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe did not use middleman in the procurement of maize and that there was no corruption.
“Maize was not bought from a private trader. It was bought from a Zambia Cooperative Federation, a subsidiary parastatal of the Zambian government. And Zambia Cooperative Federation has confirmed that, so I can only say what I have said,” Dausi said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :