Mutharika appoints Commission of Inquiry to probe K26bn ‘maizegate’:  Malawi ex-chief justice Msosa to head Zambia import deal inquiry

President Peter Mutharika has appointed a Commission of Inquiry to the procurement of 100 000 metric tonnes (MT) of maize from Zambia involving K26 billion.


Msosa: Retired chief justice is chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on maizegate

Announcing the Commisison, Chief Secretary to government, Lloyd Muhara,  President Mutharika established the Inquiry in accordance with the Inquiries Act  Section 2 (1) and the Constitution in Section 89 (1) (g).

Muhara said the inquiry will work on “matters surrounding the procurement of maize” by State-grain trader Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) from Zambia,   Malawi’s western neighbour.

Retired chief justice Anastasia Msosa has been appointed to head the inquiry.

Other commissioners appointed include Isaac Kayira the public auditor, Dr Janet Banda the solicitor general and Mike Chinoko as secretary of the Commission.

The appointments are with effect from the 1st of January, 2017,” Muhara said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times on New Year’s Day.

According to Muhara, the Commission of Inquiry will start work “immediately.”

The Commission has been tasked to submit its report to the President by January 31, 2017.

The import deal – christened as ‘maizegate – has been subject of media frenzy in Malawi as leaked documents show that Admarc used a private Zambian company that may be more expensive than if the deal were government-to-government.

Admarc insists that it is buying the staple grain from Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), a government agency.

According to figures seen in documents, Admarc has r paid $34.5 million (about K26 billion) for the maize, which is $13 million (about K9.5 billion) more than the $21.5 million (about K15 billion) it could have paid had it bought the maize from Zambian Government.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director General Lucas Kondowe has also disclosed that the bureau will work with the Anti-Corruption Commission of Zambia to analyse documents related to the deal to establish, if any, wrongdoing.

ACB has taken up the matter after members of Parliament (MPs) under the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security pushed bureau to launch an inquiry.

Meanwhile, Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament has urged President Mutharika to suspend Admarc Chief Executive Officer Foster Mulumbe and Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda to “create a conducive environment for investigations.”

PAC chairperson Alekeni Menyani said if the Commission of Inquiry and ACB work is to be credible, Mulumbe and Chaponda should be relieved of their duties.

“Here we have a whole Cabinet minister being implicated in the allegations, yet he still remains in his position. Here we have a whole CEO of Admarc being implicated yet still remains in his position,” said Menyani.

He said people implicated will do everything possible to defeat justice if they feel some underhand dealings in relation to the maize issue will be uncovered.

The procurement of the maize from Zambia was part of government’s response to the crisis.

Government borrowed $34 million (about K26 billion) from the PTA Bank for the purchase of the maize.

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35 thoughts on “Mutharika appoints Commission of Inquiry to probe K26bn ‘maizegate’:  Malawi ex-chief justice Msosa to head Zambia import deal inquiry”

  1. Parliament PAC says:

    ACB you are simply a disgrace. When your jobs are taken away from like this it means you no longer relevant or trust – Shame on you Mr Kondowe. Which cases have you concluded successful. Corruption is about perception on what is expected to be done right. our perception on ACB is this body is corrupt and mu be investigated as to why to it does not follow up some cases. Parliament Finance Committee please investigate ACB otherwise we may think we a watchdog when we do not have.

  2. Zinyengo says:

    If the resurrected Lazarus was not dead in 2014,this man is fit to be the president not this green card holder.I will try to give him my vote come 2019.Enawa tinawavotera chifukwa chomvera chisoni Bingu.Ndinabetsatu!

  3. Chotibee Kwamereka says:

    Chaponda is the most wicked and crooked minister ever. Better fire him together with Mulumbe and arrest them. They are bloody killers making lives of poor Malawians even harder. Chaponda lived in Zambia prior to political transition in Malawi. He was another miser worse than a cathedral mouse but now multibillionaire. He may be one of the directors of Kaloswe company

  4. Helpless Help says:

    this proffessor of lawlessness, eish!

  5. Wanga ndi yemweyo says:

    Commission of Inquiry my foot! I just want to add my voice to those who have reminded us that in Malawi, such commissions never produce results. The ONLY commission I have known whose work reached its conclusion was the Mwanza Murder Case Commission in the early morning of our democracy. All the others that have followed? Nil! Nix! I have a suggestion, Mr APM. If you want the truth to come out, send the entire ADMARC management on forced leave, form a grouping from the media houses except MBC to do the investigating, and give instructions to the guys on forced leave to co-operate with the investigators. That way the whole truth will come out in no time! But this commission of yours? Hahahahahhahaaaaaa!

  6. Apao Kugola says:

    I wonder what calibre of a lawyer APM. The way he handles issues bordering on justice begs a lot to be desired. It doesn’t require a law expert to suspend (not fire) those alleged to have misappropriated public resources before starting any form of investigation. Koma a president athuwanso pena amatichititsa manyazi bwanji. It is as if we voted for him while in our deep slumber or totally drunk. Shaa, paja even WhatsApp conversation imasanduka sedition.

  7. so much as the inquiry is relevant but i got reservatiipon why i dont support the inquiry….flankly nd proffesionary speaking i find the inquiry malafide nd mecurial…….,guys how many inquiries have we had in this country nd tel me which one has succeeded?…….nd yu institute a commision of inquiry which for sure we kno has a given answer…,,,,inu lets act as human beings………..u mean the whole presdent is not aware of the scam on the maize deal…….nd u think Admarc isnt that aware hu is behind the scam.

    what i kno wen ever top authourities have been implicated they are sent on live to pave way for investigations…..but allas!!!!!,,,,,look at Malawi………dfiance eats awa pride …..,.wether postive or negative …….i dont trust inquiries

  8. Chatayika Phiri says:

    Brovo APM though some do not consider you as a listening government. Malawians lets learn to give credit where it is due. No CSO or NGO has come up with a congratulatory message to the president for launching the commission of enquiry. Its high time we need to observe these things. In democracy we shall have only one leader at a time out of 12 candidates who competed in 2014. So it is our role to pray and give guidance if any to the leader i at that time.

    I appreciated Bishop Bvumbwe who said that even the opposition leaders should also be blamed if their speeches would divide malawians. Bishop Bvumbwe i salute you that is being non-partisan please keep it up! This our country lets love it!!!! All these party leaders are our children lets guide and love them too.

    1. Au Jerome says:

      iwechitsiru kwabasi, chimanga chabedwa uku nhawi yotamanda nyapapi ichoka kuti?

  9. Gogodasi says:

    Bravo BNL for exposing thieves and not being threatened by the court injunctions.

  10. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Mr President you are really not a serious person. Lest you think you can fool us with stupid tricks like this. Commission of inquiry for what? Is ACB disbanded because of incompetence? If not. This is deliberate duplication of duties to cover some thing.

    Here is my opinion. All the parties involved, report to your office. Thus ADMARC, Ministry of Agriculture, ACB and The Commission of Inquiry. Reporting means getting instructions as well. Therefore, even your commission of inquiry has been given instructions of what to do… Out of these, only ADMARC can generating income. Thus why ADMARC was given a task to find money for whatever purposes. And you could not involve Malawian firms to source the maize because people would have easily known whats going on.

    Further, you have maintained CEO for ADMARC to control flow of information. So that whoever goes to ADMARC to get information about this maize deal, meets the expert who handled the deal. And the expert knows what instructions you gave him about the whole deal.

    Next time, be more cleverer . Do not be the one sending a thief to steal, and then you send a policemen who already knows where thief is and what thief is doing and even to get details of the operation from thief himself. Its a waste of your own time, Sir, to do on credible things in life.

    As of now you are clearly seen as a ring leader of institutional thieves doing all types of tricks to get away with the stolen money.

  11. kajonkhe says:

    the whole ADMARC management should be suspended if the enquiry is to credible. All those hands are dirty.

  12. Chambe says:

    Another Billion Kwacha on probing. All is because we have sleeping Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee sleeping on duty. We have a toothless Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture sleeping on duty. Just remove all these useless Parliamentary Committees as they are not proactive but reactive.I thought you are there to be vetting processes?

  13. Sam Daliso says:

    I know that the maize purchase was dirty. Blue League beware. Zach, Dumie, S.G. Nanguwo. These should be investigated. Atiuze zimene akudziwapo

    1. Winnie says:

      akulemela modwabwista anyamata amenewa. From nowhere agula nyumba etc. koma Ndale zaku Malawi??? Mulungu achite nawo.

  14. tozer tsono says:

    where does the money for so many commissions of inquiry come from? Meanwhile citizens are starving for food. Besides, why initiate a maize purchase, which as a government you have no credibility to handle? When people say the government has failed: You complain. Explain how you can’t expedite emergency food supplies for your citizens? Malawi must pick an untried leader from a new party to get rid of corruption.

  15. Hoitty says:

    PAC is just fighting for us poor people. I wish there was some way prople would be told that the maize at ADMARC is going at K12,500 because of this corrupt deal. If it was boughy honestly the price of maize would have been lower. KOMA George CHaponda anasamba pokuya..muona zingozizira ziii ngati nkhani palibe

  16. Piche Yakiti says:

    I don’t trust these commissions. We have had commissions of this nature before, but their recommendations are never heeded to!

  17. ALOSWEA says:

    We remember people insisted that we should irrigate the maize at nchalo and Dwangwa but government was adamant ,can you see now ,God has stretched HIS had to revile secretes ,people are not able to buy from ADMARC the maize is stack at ADMARC very expensive,maize would have been K6000 or K7000

  18. King Solomon says:

    Inquiry my foot.Nothing will come out of this.The implicated should step down.The commission should be independent enough.The report should not be given to the president because obviously it will not come out.

  19. Joe chibweya says:

    Have Commission of Inquires produced any results in Malawi?
    Search me

  20. kimono says:

    and big up to times group poikoka nkhani ineneyi mpaka yafika apapa. you stood for us (mmatiimilila ).

  21. NSANJE PORT says:

    So the money you are stealing are from the loan to be paid back from our taxes?..ndakwiya nanu a D.P.P ndinudi makhuluku…sindizakuvotelaninso..chaponda you are not a patriotic citizen of Malawi if this is true

  22. snoop dog says:

    I think APM is proving his clueless leadership. What should come first is to suspend the suspects to pave way for investigations without interference. This is common sense Mr President. This is kindergarten decision. Wakeup APM time is fast running. Inu ndiye tinabetsadi.

  23. big boy says:

    fire chaponda and mulumbe. these maggots stink

  24. Harawara says:

    Malawians why are you so very forgetful? Inquiries in Malawi don’t yield anything. They are political structures set up to silence and cool down angry citizens. Those of you old enough look back and count how many inquiries had been carried out and their results.

    Like previous inquiries this probe will report that it found no wrong doing. It is therefore a waste of time and resources. And ACB cant be trusted to be professional on a highly political charged matter like this one. The matter is beyond ACB’s investigative capacity. Remember these facts: (1) Senior DPP henchmen are the suspects (2) DPP is investigating the matter (3) If reported wrong doing DPP will have inflicted self political injury (4) All members of the Inquiry are serious sympathizers of DPP and the accused. What should have been done. Nothing in the current political environment

  25. Zinenani says:

    Now that is better. How many commission of inquiries have yielded results that has been acted upon? Mukapeza zotsatira take another step.

  26. CK says:

    @Mwananyani, be subjective when commenting. This is a national interest issue and PAC is just doing its oversighiting role to make checks and balances. Munthalika has appointd the commission, the honourable thing for those involved could do is just to resign to give way for thorough investigations as there might be interferences during inquiries due to power that might be.

  27. Mangame says:

    Peter watitopetsa kwabasi. Commissions of inquiry in Malawi have been known to yield nothing. Why not use existing independent government agencies? They want to been seen to be doing something when nothing is happening. What you should know is that these issues will resurface during campaign for elections if you try to wash them away. We cant trust that Peter can discipline Chaponda and his cronies even when the commission says there is wrong doing in the deal. Peter and his DPP has failed Malawians big time. We come to realize that God had a purpose when He removed the DPP government from power in April, 2012. Timudziwe Yesu ndithu.

  28. Jelbin mk says:

    Mwananyanian you seem to have known very little if anything in this world. PAC is very well placed to provide a direction for the executive to take because its role as a parliamentary organ that plays an oversight role in all matters of national impprtance. If we have to believe your assertions that APM should ignore their advise that both Chaponda and ADMARK ceo should either resign or be fired to pave the way for investigations which is a norm for every fruitful investigation then who stand to benefit to the keeping of these two suspects? Are you a son of Chaponda? By the way when instituting a commision of inquiry the president would have directed that it covers all maize procurement missions including that of Brazil so that we do not waste more money on instituting another commision of inquiry, somebody is trying to fool someone here with this inquiry to show as if someone is serious fighting graft. As of ACB just leave this issue alone, you have developed interest just because there is an inquiry? Kondowe you are an ashaming figure in line with Goodall and Jappie from the north. All we know is that northeners are well principled people except the three of you not forgetting F Mwenefumbo. In Malawi there is no rule of law, this has been characterised by so many commisions of inquiry’s recommendetiions being ignored by the executive rendering the process as useless. Remember the Robert Chasowa’s commision of inquiry and July 20 commision, what happened to their recomnendations? To it seems a waste of resources as the commisions findings will be ignored. If we had a functional ACB we could not even reach this far the ACB would have investigated and arrested the perpetrators end of story no need to pay retired judges allowances for doing what an existing graft fighting body would because this including that of Chasowa are not complex issues warranting an inquiry. ACB is as good as closed we don’t need this absent in presence body.

  29. Regionalising says:

    All these people appointed are the DPP diehards already in the shoes of APM , we are just being fooled here , evidence is already there , what else does APM wants to do , is it not one way of covering George Chaponda ?

    Malawians should go on the street demanding the maize price to come back to MWK5,500.00 per bag of 50 kgs . The MWK12,500.00 imposed on us to be buying maize at Admarc is that we are paying for the cashgates of maize imposed by DPP.

    Peter Munthalika is luring dead Malawians who are there to accept anything , our friends in Mozambique they went on the street because of increasing the price of bread which is their staple food while here in Malawi our staple food is Msima the Malawi Government increases the price of maize because of the same government punitive dirty maize deals we are ready to pay for the cashgates and we are all happy accepting for DPP sins.

    We need to force the government to bring back the old price of maize to where it was at MWK5,500.00 per 50kg bag . WE SAY NO TO PAY MWK12,500.00 PER A 50kgs BAG

  30. PeterMustFall says:

    Commission of what….this is total loads of rubbish and very political, tell me Mr President, after findings za Late Chasowa by commission of bloody enquiry, then what. Why cant you suspend the Chaponda minister and Mulumbe tiwonedi if u serious bout running this country…….This is a joke

  31. Satyagraha Reichstag says:

    The Commission of enquiry should have included members of ACB, Senior Police Official and a report should be submitted to Parliament not President. You can not be a referee, player and striker at the same time. Obviously, some top cabinet gurus will be implicated but they will cheat you as they did when they lied about the workers you have been firing from state house. It is time to clean Malawi.

  32. Mkwita says:

    Oh no.nothing ever comes out of these.let the prevailing state apparatus work without a political hand.izi nde ayi

  33. Mwananyanian says:

    APM: do NOT listen to PAC.
    Inquiry is good, but pack are just a partisan group who should not be given room to breathe on issue like these. PAC members are simply egotistical, and seem to be on agendas to enhance personal advantage, rather than Malawi”s.

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