Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture officials have sent back the Director of Public Procurement Paul Taulo from an inquiry on maizegate — maize procurement saga that has hit Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc).
The joint committee of Public Accounts Committee and Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture have been instituted to probe allegations of irregularities at Admarc and Ministry of Agriculture in the procurement of maize from Zambia.
The Parliament inquiry accused the procurement chief of not having knowledge of the documents he presented and the issue at hand.
The inquiry members on Wednesday were not impressed with responses by Taulo who kept on responding that he did not have answers to the questions by the committee members.
Taulo also showed no knowledge of the documents he tendered to the committee.
He kept on saying a Mr Jeke or a Mr Chirwa were better placed to respond to the questions.
Taulo, however, told the inquiry that on June 17, 2016, he received a call from the Admarc CEO Foster Mulumbe from Zambia, who said he had found maize in the western neighbour which he wanted to buy and asked for procedures.
“I was just three days in my job and it was a Friday and on my way home in Neno so I referred him to Mr Chirwa who advised the Admarc CEO to send the documents by email,” he said.
However, Taulo kept on contradicting himself and showed no knowledge of basic issues on the matter.
The chairman of the committee Dr Jospeh Chidanti Malunga sent him packing and told him to come back when ready.
In the afternoon, Admarc officials were appearing before the parliament initiated inquiry.
On Tuesday, the vocal civil society organisations appeared before the committee. So far, there is no evidence implicating either Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda or Mulumbe.
The committee comprises 10 members, five from each of the two committees and will be co-chaired by the vice-chairperson of Public Accounts Committee, Kamlepo Kalua, and chairperson of the Agriculture Committee, Joseph Chidanti Malunga.
The objectives of the inquiry are to establish whether procurement procedures were flouted and if they were, to bring to book all institutions and individuals involved.
The Parliament inquiry is due to establish the extent Admarc, Ministry of Agriculture and Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) were involved and what decisions were made during the procurement process.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :