MPs fail to find corruption element in ‘maizegate’, so far

The four government agencies and ministries that have so far appeared before the Agriculture Committee of Parliament that is probing the maize procurement matter together with the Public Accounts Committee, have so far failed to establish corruption element as ithas been widely alleged in the media.

Kalua: Appeared to intimidate Mulumbe

Following the testimony that was first tendered by some members of the civil society, the committee first summoned Director of Public Procurement, Paul Taulo, who had to school them regarding government procurement processes.

After failing to pin down the Director of Public Procurement on substance, the most vocal member of the committee Kamlepo Kalua,went superficial and accused Taulo of being casual in his responses. Kalua is known for throwing issues in the air without grounding them with evidence.

The visibly upset Kalua thundered at Taulo, “You are under oath! You are under oath!” as he forced the Director of Public Procurement to contradict his version.

But some commentators have described such an attack as a sign of loss of the argument and a vain attempt to force the official to accept things that are not true.

As it was very clear that there is no evidence of any corruption in the procurement process, the MPs started picking on minute issues like the dates when some documents were signed.

However, Taulo outsmarted them when he made it clear that at the time the decision of procuring maize from Zambia was being made, there was urgent need that the commodity should be in the country.

“That is why as a public office we had to come in and assess the situation and make sure ADMARC procured the maize as soon as possible. This does not mean any procurement procedure was flouted. We only had to hurry the process and this is normal in situations where there is urgent need for action,” said Taulo.

When ADMARC Chief Executive Officer Foster Mulumbe appeared before the same joint committee, the MPs also failed to find faults in his testimony and resorted to threatening him with unspecified action if he exposed their failure.

Kalua resorted to some threats like Mulumbe being in contempt of court when he said he would try to visit areas where the MPs claimed maize was being repacked.

However, Mulumbe wondered why the threat of contempt of court was coming up when he has never been served with any court document that he should not undertake his duties.

It later emerged that the threat was being applied to discourage Mulumbe from going further with the assignment since the MPs were lying that the maize was repacked somewhere. They simply wanted to get information using illegal means.

The Malawi Revenue Authority commissioner general, Thom Malata, also told the MPs when he appeared before them that as far as MRA is concerned, there was no any suspicious thing in the procurement.

“ADMARC declared that it would be procuring 100,000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia and we had to just wait and get our share which is the tax. So far, no money has been paid because only 4210 metric tonnes have come through our system,” said Malata.

His calm and composed presentation also compelled chairperson of the committee, Joseph Malunga, to indicate that the MPs were satisfied with his testimony.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that there are divisions in the joint committee as some members feel the enquiry is just a waste of time since already there is nothing like corruption element being traced in the transaction.

One member of the committee said others feel that everything must just be stopped because the key people whose testimonies should have pointed to corruption have come out of the inquiry clean.

“Looking at the testimonies, it is clear that no corruption was here. After all we have learnt that no money was paid, and how do you say there was corruption where money did not exchange hands. We will be meeting to see if we can just stop this,” said member who chose not to be identified.

Another member said the some members like Kamlepo Kalua and Dowa East MP Richard Chimwendo Banda want to continue with the probe though they clearly know that no corruption can be traced in the transaction.

The proponents of the maize corruption claims have tried to discredit President PPeter Mutharika’s Commission of Inquiry and demonizing the civil rights activist John Kapito for declaring that “no money was stolen” in a bid to block truth coming out into the public sphere.

 

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Amoyo salekana
Guest

Shame to zodiak. two wks nkhan kungokhala ya maizegate

Concerned Mcp
Guest

Chakwera wagwanayo yotakata. He is finished. That’s the end of his carrier. Go go Chakwera and join gule wankulu you have failed us. Nobody who run from the face of God ever succeeded in politics

J.B.C Atate
Guest

So the probe by the parliamentary committees is just a ploy to accumulate allowances??? Is this not another waste of public funds?? Yet there is a Commission of Inquiry which is investigating the same maize saga using public funds.!! By the way, why was Kamlepo so silent when news of cashgate came to light in 2013??? Is it not because he was benefitting in one way or the other.

Hatton
Guest

Kamulepo rooted Admarc nthawi ya a mai. He claimed to be a contractor and siphoned over K30 million from Admarc. Kamulepo also supplied cheap Chinese tyres to Admarc together with his PP friend from Balaka without going through the procurement process. Soon those documents will be tendered to ACB Kuti agwirepo ntchito Yao.
Good luck kamulepo.
Mwenifumbo ali deputy minister anapezeka Ndi makatoni akuba a makuponi afetereza mu office mwake. The deputy minister who store subsidy fertilizer coupons for his own benefit; Can such thieves investigate any corruption in Malawi? He who seeks equity must come with clean hands.

koma abale inu eeh
Guest
Kalua is as arrogant as ever, even when the facts line up, one by one, against him. He’s always pushing his conspiracy theories, and in so doing, wasting our money. Maybe he should spend some of his own money on these projects; then he’ll feel the pain, personally. The guy is NOT educated, and so he cannot advance arguments in logical manner. when frustrated, he almost always invariably resorts to intimidation. And, when that fails, threats; even personally. Not dignified at all. He has been told many times, there is NO corruption here. Maybe he will now listen to the… Read more »
Cry
Guest

Here is the score for the bout between Chaponda and Chidanti. Out of the twelve rounds, Chaponda 4 and Chidanti 6. Chaponda is closing in here to outsmart Chidanti.

Bilimankhwe
Guest
Iam seriously sick. I fidnt know that Chakwera could fool these people like this. Now you have made Dpp more popular than it was. Only short time before we start campaign. What are we going to talk bad about Dpp. Now we need to probe Chakwera and place an injunction On his presidency Iam now shifting my position to support Dpp. Nothing good in Mcp Kamlepo Kamlepo you have been fooled and you are a fool. You have made us Tumbuka s look stupid. Bravo Dpp now it’s your time to punch these idiots from left to right MCP boma… Read more »
Bruce Mwalwanda
Guest

God has seen the suffering of his children in Malawi. He has seen his children demonised for attempting to intervene in hunger situation. The Zambia maize, the MERA maize. God is saving the nation from hunger. There will be no more begging. No more blunders in maize search pannic. Millions of Kwachas will be spent on attempts to probe corruptions. Very good. Victimisation. But truth will always prevail.
We keep watching this space.

SHIBWALYA
Guest

Zambia does not waste resources on such issues, they are busy building national airports, ndola will soon have an international airport whilst the Kenneth Kaunda one is being renovated, roads are being reconstructed, Zambians are busy in the estates, gardens to waste their energies on issues based on suspicions.

wodabwa
Guest
but if it was hurriedly signed contract due to acute food shortage why is it that up to now the contract is not yet finished money not paid yet? what were they hurrying for all those brains could harry to sign contracts and later nothing materialises out of the hurry? was it going to solve the hunger problem with that high price? someone deliberately made the hurry and am sure that’s why we have all these enquiries however if u buy an expensive item leaving out a cheaper one that’s not corruption it’s your choice maybe u have a lot… Read more »
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