Malawi’s grain marketor, Admarc, has suspended three employees on suspicion that they defrauded the organization of K5.7 million (about $19 000) allegedly through inflated wages, especially for casual labourers.
An internal audit uncovered the K5.7 million fraud at the company’s regional office for the South allegedly involving wages clerk Awirindiwo Kananji, regional accountant Stewart Ngundende and regional information technology (IT) officer Blazio Namulewa, Malawi’s flagship dialy newspaper, The Nation reported on Thursday.
The paper quoted unnamed sources who said between March 2010 and April 2011, the three employees, connived to prepare wages for ghost workers besides producing duplicate inflated wages report every month with which they used to draw extra cash.
“When the auditors did their investigation, it was confirmed that the three officers had embezzled money amounting close to K5.7 million over the said period but no action was taken on them,” the source is quoted as saying.
The period the crime is suspected to have occurred, the regional office wage bill had increased by average of K400 000 per month which enable the general ledger less than the actual cash being disbursed for wages and unable to balance, according to the paper.
Admarc public relations officer Agnes Chikoko confirmed the development and told the paper that the matter was being handled by a disciplinary committee.
“The members involved are on suspension to pave the way for further investigation. Therefore, there should be no fear of information being destroyed,” Chikoko, said.
The paper also reported that that new Admarc chief executive officer Dr Jerry Jana “authorised the sale of more than 5 000 metric tonnes of maize to several companies who do not have any distribution outlets.”
Jana is reported to have given a contract to J and; F Enterprises to supply 10 000 metric tonnes which was currently being sourced from Zambia after noting that his decision to sale maize might be questioned in the wake of the looming hunger.
But Chikoko said the idea to dispose of the 5 000 metric tonnes of maize was a business decision made with the view of generating income for the company.