The Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) board chairperson James Masumbu has said they have ste up a special committee chaired by board member Ken Ndanga to examine recommendations to the board made by the two commissions—one instituted by President Peter Mutharika and the other by Parliament—to begin disciplinary proceedings against Admarc’s senior management over the Zambia maize deal – the ‘maizegate’.
Masumbu said this on Monday after confirming that the board has placed on suspension chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe was implicated in the maizegate scandal.
“The board concluded and resolved that Mulumbe and Director of Operations (DO) Feckson Kantonga should proceed on suspension while the board is carrying out their own investigations,” said Masumbu.
Masumbu said apart from Ndanga, the special committee also includes three other board members who are lawyer Chancy Gondwe, Stain Singo and Inkosi Gomani.
There will also be a representative each from the Department of Statutory Corporations, Department of Human Resource Management and Development, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.
The committee has been given 18 days to come up with a report which will be discussed at a full board meeting scheduled for April 21.
The report, issued by the commission of inquiry set up by Mutharika and headed by retired Chief Justice Anastasia Msosa, faulted Admarc management for not following government procurement procedures and fraudulently entering into contracts.
Admarc reportedly bought maize at K26 billion from the Zambian company and it is believed that Malawi could have saved about K9.5 billion if it had bought the grain directly from the Zambian government.
On the other hand, the joint parliamentary committee discovered that Admarc’s contract with Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) was fraudulent as it was backdated to June 17 2016 when it was signed after a month just to get approvals from Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP).
Further, the committee found that Admarc’s alleged fraudulent activities extended to the internal procurement committee which recorded that the chairperson was present when in fact he was in Zambia at the time.
Mulumbe was named as the key person in the flouting of the procurement procedures.
He denies any wrong doing in the maizegate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :