Former Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara ‘sat’ on a recommendation to summarily dismiss beleaguered National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) deputy chief executive Officer Gerald Viola for fraud and abuse of office.
A disciplinary committee of the NFRA board met in Mangochi in April where they recommend to have Viola dismissed after he was implicated in a scam where he single handedly gave out an order to supply maize worth K3.3 billion through a Local Purchase Order (L.P.O).
However, Muhara, a close friend to Viola did not act on the recommendation of the board after the issue was brought to him by Statutory Corporations officials.
“We recommended that this was a summary dismissal and made our position known to Statutory Corporation,” said a member of the disciplinary committee which has since been dissolved.
Insiders said since Viola’s appointment as Deputy CEO came ‘straight from the President’ there was need for OPC to guide them on the way forward.
“The issue was referred to Mr Muhara who simply just ignored it until there was a change of government. I hope the new government will look into this because this cannot be said as witch hunt,” said a top official from Statutory Corporations.
Viola was not reporting for work two months from April to June as he was busy campaigning for immediate past President Peter Mutharika in the lower shire. He continued to get his salary and benefits, according to NFRA Head of Human Resources and Administration Mc Donald Makonde.
Efforts to talk to Muhara proved futile as he could neither pick up the phone nor respond to various messages left on his phone.
Viola was arrested in Chikwawa on Friday for offering a government vehicle as collateral for usury.