The joint parliamentary committee investigating the maizegate scandal will be more confused when they establish that the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) did not have any contract with one of the local companies Transglobe to supply 50, 000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia.
Parliamentary committee Chair Jospeh Chidanti Malunga expressed surprise at the weekend when his committee was told in Zambia during investigations that apart from the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), Admarc also contracted Transglobe to deliver 50,000 metric tonnes.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia Julius Shawa simply advised that a permit was issued to Transglobe but an opposition politician Savior Chishimba told the committee that Transglobe was involved in the maize deal.
Malunga said this piece of information has now confused his committee and indicated that they will summon Admarc again and Transglobe to explain their side of the story.
However, Nyasa Times can reveal that Admarc never entered into any contract with Transglobe to deliver maize from Zambia.
“Look, I am privy to information regarding what happened, Admarc never entered into any deal with Transglobe or any other local company to transport maize from Zambia. What I know is that Transglobe and other local traders had maize in Zambia but they could not export it to Malawi because of the Zambia government’s export ban on maize.
“Transglobe and many other Malawian companies had a lot of maize in Zambia but they could not bring it here but of course they were fighting for an export permit.”
“They were given a permit to export 50,000 metric tonnes but in the end they did not use it because it was there was an oversight as Transglobe did not have any contract with government or any government agency to deliver the maize.”
“In the end Transglobe exported only around 1,500 metric tonnes to Malawi under contract to ZCF and under the ZCF export permit,” said an insider who works for Admarc but did not want to be named.
“This whole thing is political and the committee should be very careful with the Zambian politician who gave them this information. If they had done their homework, they could have found out that this Chishimba has his own corruption case he is answering and maybe doing this to divert attention,” said the source.
It has since been discovered by the Zambian Anti-Corruption Commission that Chishimba generated the hoax based on information provided to him by a relative and the same was flouted to the Malawian media houses.
The Sunday Nation newspaper of Zambia reported that Chishimba created a maizegate hoax “after being misled by his relative at Kaloswe Commutter and Couriers Services that the Letter if Credit (LC) from PTA Bank to the Zambia Cooperatives Federation was the accutual wiring of money for the initial contract.”
The paper quoting unnamed source said one of the bosses at Kaloswe presented the documents to Chishima so that he would use his influence to wrstle the said money away from ZCF using the LC to prove that oney was transferred but he concealed the notice of termination of the contract from Admarc.
ZCF has maintained that it had never eceived any money from SAmarc as the ferrying of maize to Malawi was ongoing and that they agreed payment will be made once 10,000 tonnes were ferried to Malawi.
Transglobe officials refused to comment on the matter saying the issue will be clarified in due course through the appropriate channels.
Meanwhile, the joint committee of Parliament conducting an inquiry into the maizegate has summoned officials of Transglobe Produce Export Limited as well as Grain Traders Association of Malawi chairperson Grace Mijiga.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :