Irate maize traders on Monday stormed National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) premises in Lilongwe, closing down offices to force Mulli Brothers Limited, a private company contracted by the government to buy maize on behalf of the state silos, to buy their maize at recommended prices.
The traders were also questioning how Mulli Brothers Limited, a company owned by billionaire Leston Mulli who is highly connected to powerful politicians in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was awarded the contract.
Chairperson of the grouping of the traders, Rachel Fatchi told journalists that Mulli was buying maize from the traders at K155 per kilogram instead of the government set price of K230 per kilogram.
“We will not sell our maize to NFRA until the government addresses this issue,” said Fatchi.
She said the traders have since engaged ministry of Agriculture officials to look into the matter.
Mulli could not comment on the price issue but said he won the contract to supply the maize to NFRA in an open tender process.
“People are talking this because Mulli is a black person, a Malawian. If an Asian won this tender, they could have not talked at all. All those talking did not even apply to supply the maize, it is just jealousy,” he said.
There was no immediate comment from NFRA officials.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :