The Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) board which met in Blantyre last Friday ordered chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe to go on forced leave to pave way for investigations on the Zambia maize deal.
Mulumbe, including Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister George Chaponda, are implicated in the maizegate scandal that they may have indulged in corruption.
Admarc board chairperson James Masumbu confirmed that the board resolved Mulumbe should “ go on leave” to pave way for the Commission of Inquiry to complete its probe on the misprocurement .
According to Masumbu, Deputy Chief Executive of Admarc, Mrs Magret Mauwa will be stand-in CEO for the State-trader .
However, Masumbu said Mulumbe should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise by the Commission of Inquiry established to investigate the maize deal between State grain trader Admarc and Zambian private company, Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Ltd.
President Peter Mutharika instituted a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the scam in which Admarc reportedly bought maize at K26 billion from the Zambian company and it is believed that Malawi could have saved about K9.5 billion if it had bought the grain directly from the Zambian government.
The commission is being chaired by former Chief Justice Anastazia Msosa, Solicitor General Janet Banda, auditor Isaac Kayira and Mike Chinoko.
The use of a middleman, Kaloswe, is raising suspicion that officials may have indulged in corruption when Malawi government is on record to have said Chaponda was in discussion with the Zambian government over the maize deal, and at some point, engaged in discussions directly with Zambian President Edgar Lungu.
Both Chaponda and Mulumbe have denied any wrong doing in the maizegate.