3 nabbed for selling subsidized fertilizer at higher prices

Police in Blantyre have arrested three ADMARC employees for allegedly selling the 2011/2012 subsidized fertilizer at K1000 per 50kg bag instead of the government set price of K500.

Southern Region Deputy Police spokesperson Edna Ligowe said the three were arrested at Nancholi ADMARC depot after getting a tip from disgruntled buyers.

Ligowe said the three employees were caught red handed on Tuesday afternoon by undercover police as they collected extra 500 kwachas from buyers.

The three are Stella Lankeni, a security guard from TA Mlolo in Nsanje, Chipiliro Chinyama, an assistant clerk from Chief Malemia in Zomba and Lawrent Harrison who hails from TA Njema in Chikhwawa district.

Ligowe: The suspects have been charged with corruption

The police deputy spokesperson said the three ADMARC employees have been charged with corruption.

Emerging reports indicate that the malpractice is happening in various selling outlets across the country, a situation that is forcing some people to shun their respective markets to procure the fertilizer in other distant areas.

The development is also impacting greatly on less privileged people and aged citizens who cannot fork out an extra K500 and are also being subjected to walk very long distances to get the stuff.

Meanwhile, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) says since markets opened it has been receiving numerous complainants from people on the demands by sellers of extra K500 per every 50kg bag of subsidized fertilizer.

ACB Director Alex Nampota said his office is investigating the matter and all those involved in the malpractice will be persecuted.

“ACB will continue investigating the matter and will arrest and prosecute all those involved in the malpractice,” he said.

President Bingu wa Mutharika introduced the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) in 2005 to improve national food security and a total of about 1.4 million small holder farmers are expected to benefit from this year’s farm input fertilizer subsidy program.

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