Govt asks K3bn refund from Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority for ‘illegal’maize purchase: Officials  be suspended, prosecuted

Secretary to the Treasury (ST) Ronald Mangani has demanded that the K3 billion ($4.2 million)  Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera)  used to buy maize  from the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) be refunded.

Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe :Chair of MERA
Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe :Chair of MERA

Treasury has also  demanded immediate suspension and prosecution of key officers at the regulatory authority for ill-advising the board of directors to divert the money to buy maize for State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) in February this year.

Mangani’s letter dated May 19 2016 addressed to Mera board chairperson Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe said the  executive management of Mera “erred” in referring to the Mera Board a matter that was outside the board’s competence and mandate to handle, sayin it is the responsibility of management to guide the board on procedures.

He added that the board’s approval for the transaction was clearly conditional upon adherence to the necessary procedures by Mera’s executive management.

Treasury  has since recommend as follows: “Based on the foregoing, I recommend as follows: [1]. The Mera Board should suspend, with immediate effect, all key officers whose responsibility it was to: [a]. Advise the board accordingly, and/or [b]. Ensure that proper government procedures would be followed in this transaction;

“[2]. The Mera board should request the Director of Public Prosecutions [DPP] to persecute all the key officers specified under [1] above, and/or apply any other disciplinary measures as it may deem appropriate.”

The development follows press reports that Mera diverted K3 billion from the PSF for  Admarc to buy maize.

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