Outspoken Rumphi east MP Kamlepo Kalua on Thursday prompted the government to make serious denials that former head of state Bingu wa Mutharika personally benefitted from 177 tractors that the government of India donated to Malawi.
Kalua had asked the ministry of Agriculture to explain the whereabouts of the tractors and their components, and 144 maize shellers which the Indian government gave Malawi through a credit in 2011 to mechanise farming in Malawi.
The Peoples Party MP Insinuated late Bingu used a personal assistant to illegally get some of the tractors to which some members of parliament alleged that the tractors were spotted at the former head of state’s farm in Zimbabwe.
But Minister of Agriculture Allan Chiyembekeza said the tractors and maize shellers were donated to ADDs and some of the tractors were sold off to small and medium farmers.
The minister said other tractors were sent to district commissioners’ offices which got a tractor each, saying tractors donated to the ADD and other government offices are for tractor hire scheme which encourages small scale farmers to hire the tractors for farming as way of migrating from hoe farming to mechinisation farming for increased efficiency and productivity.
Chiyembekeza said all procedures were duly followed when selling off the 59 tractors, saying Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya benefitted from this scheme.
But the opposition wanted to know the list of the people who bought the tractors to which Chiyembekeza obliged.
However, Leader of the House Francis Kasaila asked Kalua to withdraw his statement and apologise for implicating the former head of state Bingu wa Mutharika whom he said was not involved.
Kalua,however, refused to withdraw the statement and apologise saying he did not mention Mutharika by name but said state house.
He argued he had evidence to which second deputy speaker Clement Chiwaya told him to provide the evidence on Friday morning.