Government, through the Attorney General Charles Mhango, has said the implementation of the 2017/18 Farm Input Subsidy Programme is on course, advising all companies that were awarded contracts to supply farm inputs under this programme not to be distracted by the injunction Transglobe Peoduce Export Limited obtained ‘stopping’ the implementation of the programme.
Transglobe rushed to court after it was dropped from participating in the programme because of an ongoing investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) over the company’s alleged involvement in the Zambia maize procurement deal.
Mhango’s clarification comes barely a day after Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture gave Transglobe 48 hours to vacate the injunction in order to proceed with the implementation of the programme.
The Committee warned to bar the company from conducting any business in the country if the injunction restraining the programme is not removed with 48 hours.
Chairperson for the Commuter Joseph Chidanti Malunga said should Transglobe disregard the 48 hour order, the Committee we will have no option but ask Parliamnet to pass a resolution to bar Transglobe from operating in the country.
Malunga said it was immoral for the Transglobe to hold over 900,000 beneficiaries and entire nation at random just benefit they need the contract so that they can benefit from the programme.
He also claimed that Transglobe was not on the list of successful bidders and that the Committee was largely involved in the selection of bidders.
But speaking to public broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Mhango claimed that FISP has not been suspended, faulting the media for the mispresentation of information on the matter.
The Attorney General also revealed that the High Court will make a determination this Friday whether Transglobe should be involved in this year’s programme or not.
According to the Attorney General, when Transglobe obtained the Court order, lawyers from both parties appeared the before the High Court on 27 October in Blantyre where the Judge made it very clear that it was not the intention of the Court order to stop the implementation of FISP and that FISP with the current contractors who have been awarded contracts should proceed.
“The general public should be assured with the clarification the Judge gave on October 27 that the FISP is on course and there should be no anxiety as to whether FISP will stop or collapse, the implementation will proceed accordingly.
“Those companies which have been awarded contracts according to the judge’s clarification are not affected by this order because those are legal contracts which have been awarded and there is nothing wrong with the awarding of those contracts.
“Therefore they can proceed according to the terms of the contracts which have been awarded by the procuring entity which is the Ministry of Agriculture through Stakeholder Farmers Fertilizers Relvoving Fund of Malawi,” said Mhango in an interview monitored on MBC.
He added, “We are going to meet again this Friday as to whether Transglobe is entitled or should be given contract apart from the other contractors who have been awarded contracts by the government. That is the main issue that will be tackled.”
Commenting on the 48 hour ultimatum, lawyer representing Transglobe on the matter Lusungu Gondwe argued that it is the duty of the court to decide whether Transglobe’s stand is valid or not.
“If my client’s demand is stupid, the Courts will throw it out. If it is valid, he is going to carry the day. Everybody is supposed to sit by and wait for the Court to decide. In short, the injunction will not be withdrawn,”Gondwe is quoted as saying in the local press.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :