MCP Strategist Dr Moses Khombe under fire for aborted fertilizer deal

The man at the centre of the K750 million fertilizer deal between the Malawi Government and Barakat Foods Limited of the United Kingdom which has brought down Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe and wrecked the Agricultural Input Program says his role was to connect government to the fertilizer dealers.
Malawi Congress Party strategist Dr Moses Khombe, who owns Sheba Oil Gas Limited has told the Agriculture Committee of Parliament that his role was only to market products of Barakat Foods Limited after he got information that the supplier Barakat supplied 50,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer to South Africa and that convinced him that the company can supply 25,000 metric tonnes of the fertilizer to Malawi Government.
He went on to say he does not even know whether after introducing the seller to the Ministry of Agriculture there was a contract signed or not.
The Parliamentarians, however, were not convinced by his “strategic” answers saying Khombe lied under oath to the committee because he kept on contradicting himself and seemingly looked confused.
The committee felt Khombe betrayed Malawians as he was the one who introduced Barakat Foods Limited to Malawi.
Khombe said he never made the payment so he cannot be responsible for paying back the money.
Khombe is said to have attended the task force meetings on the deal with government officials at Capital Hill despite being a ruling party official not civil servant.
When asked about the meetings he attended and who was in attendance, Khombe lied again by saying he “couldn’t remember.”
However, Khombe remembered Mr Abdul as owner of Barkaat Food Company and told the committee that his friend in India introduced Abdul to him.
He said that Abdul did not share with him the K750 million he got from Malawi Government.
An email to secretary at the Treasury, MacDonald Mwale, sacked Secretary for Agriculture Sandram Maweru, Budget Director Loyce Chilimsungwi and deal “co-fixer” Caroline Mathusamy has found that Khombe persuaded the Malawi government to pay the UK based company the K750 million Kwacha as commitment fee.

“Fixer” Dr Moses Khombe
Below are contents of his email to the Malawi government officials:
Dear Sirs,
Please find the attached revised copy of the sell and purchase agreement (SPA) for ADMARC and SFFRFM.
We presented to the supplier all issues that were raised during the meeting on Saturday. Further, under the guidance of the Bank in Singapore, a complete due diligence on the supplier was conducted. After a lengthy of discussion with the supplier we have come to an agreement and the following sections have been amended:
As per recommendation from the Ministry of Finance, the seller has accepted to issue a standard performance bond of 2%. This clause has been added in the SPA.
All payments to be made to the company which has a production line with Yara and no third party in this regard will be involved. This concern was raised by some members during the Saturday meeting and again it was a major concern too with the financier.
We have changed the supplier’s name to match the name that has a contract with Yara. We have replaced Food Line Wholesalers with Barkaat Food Ltd.
Now in order for us to secure the price of $290 per ton, the following steps should be taken immediately.
We need both ADMARC and SFFRFM to sign the revised SPA and the invoices by closure of the day. Failing which the prices will be adjusted upward from next week to $480 per ton from the initial $290. We believe this is avoidable if we can only comply with what the supplier is requesting from us.
We need to pay a 10% commitment fee to the supplier by Friday this week. Out of this amount, ADMARC will pay 5% and SFFRFM will pay the other 5%. After paying this commitment fee, the supplier will send the first shipment of 25,000 tons as a trial run.
We therefore request your noble office to authorize ADMARC and SFFRFM to take a quick action on the suggested steps in order to seal the transaction.
We thank you so very much for your understanding. If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns please let us know.
Moses Khombe. PhD.

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