Malawi Govt terminates Agriculture Secretary Maweru’s contract

Government has terminated the contract for Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Sandram Maweru, barely a week after President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera fired Lobin Lowe as Minister of Agriculture.

Chakwera fired Lowe over irregular procurement of fertilizer for the 2022-2023 Affordable Input Programme (AIP).

Sources have told Nyasa Times on how Maweru and Lowe orchestrated a culture of nepotism that saw high ranking dismissed from the Ministry of Agriculture to facilitate the “AIP fertilizer deals” outside the procurement procedures.

Those removed include:

  • Controller of Agricultural Services – Dr Alexander Bulirani
  • Director of Crops – Dr Godfrey Ching’oma
  • Director of Agricultural Research Services – Dr Wilkson Makumba
  • Director of Livestock Services – Dr Patrick Chikungwa
  • Director of Finance – Mr Friday Likwinji
  • Director of Administration – Mr M Tsitsi
  • Deputy Director of Administration – Mr B Chilemba
  • Director of human Resources – Mrs G Bamusi

Maweru and the former Cabinet minister are among senior government officials that blew K150 million on a trip to the United Kingdom (UK) where they went to strike a deal with butchers to supply fertilizers to the Malawi Government.

The deal has seen the Malawi Government over K740 million, according to a National Address President Chakwera made last Tuesday.

Minister of Information and Digitalization Gospel Kazako confirmed the termination of a contract for Maweru, but could not provide more details.

However, Nyasa Times has been reliably informed that more heads are expected to roll in connection to the ‘deal’.

After firing Lowe, President Chakwera appointed Sam Dalitso Kawale to steer the Ministry of Agriculture and to oversee the procurement of the inputs.

In a related development, Board Chairperson for the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) Marjorie Maluwa Phiri has told a joint Parliamentary Committee that police in Germany have arrested a man and seized his assets over his involvement in the K750 million AIP fertiliser procurement saga.

However, Phiri has kept a tight lid on the identity of the suspect.

Phiri further disclosed that the Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, who is leading the recovery initiative of the money, is currently in Germany on a fact-finding mission.

According to Phiri, as of October 24, SFFRFM had recovered about $182, 000 (K188 million) from the amount, which was credited in the fund’s account.

During his National Address, President Chakwera assured Malawians that the money will be recovered.

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