The board of the State grain marketer, the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC), has suspended the institution’s acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Felix Jumbe, and two other top bosses from their positions.
The two others are Harold Mwala was the Director of Finance and Garnet Gwembere who has been holding the position of the Director of Operations.
This comes a week after the President told the press in Lilongwe that board of directors of various parastatals must act on individuals who were appointed through dubious ways, mostly on political affiliation of the previous DPP administration.
In a memo dated November 10, 2020, and addressed to the members of staff, the ADMARC Board chairperson, Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi, said the following the development, the Board has appointed Mrs. Dhlelisile Matando Phiri to act in the position of the CEO while Gerald Ganizani will be the acting Director of Finance with Michael James Mnenula acting as the Director of Operations.
“This will be the position until further notice. May I therefore urge you all to join me in congratulating them and further urge you all to offer them your untiring support,” implores Kusamba Dzonzi in the letter.
Jumbe confirmed the suspension: “I have been told to step aside.”
His suspension comes barely a few weeks after he had told the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture in Lilongwe that the government was owing the parastatal in excess of K23 billion.
He said the outstanding debt was one of the factors contributing to the poor performance at the corporation.
Jumbe disclosed that the corporation needs close to K300 billion to bring the operations of ADMARC back to those cherished old days when the institution led in grain trade.
“If government could pay us the K23 billion it owes us, we could have somewhere to start from. But with the longstanding debt, most of our operations have now been paralysed,” he said.
Chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Ulemu Chilapondwa, said his committee would lobby members of Parliament (MPs) to consider allocating adequate resources to ADMARC.
Chilapondwa added that the committee wants to propose that the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) should stop buying maize and that the role should be given to ADMARC only to avoid duplication of work for the two institutions.
“For a long time, ADMARC has been a strategic grain trader for agro-produce. It’s very important that we should give adequate resources so that it functions effectively and efficiently,” he said.
At the meeting, members of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, including the outspoken Rumphi East legislator Kamlepo Kala, Chilapondwa and others, assured Jumbe of their support to formalize his appointment at ADMARC.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :