Businessperson Leston Mulli, managing director of Mulli Brothers Limited has reportedly refused to supply maize to Malawi Prisons after the collection services had sent an SOS to him following the food shortage which has hit the jails.
Mulli, who claims to be squeezed by the government, confirmed that he had been approached to supply maize on credit but had refused.
“Government owes me a lot of money. They are not awarding my company any contracts or not making payments for work already done,” he said.
Acting Chief Commissioner for Malawi Prison Services (MPS), Kennedy Nkhoma, said the food situation at the prisons across Malawi is “alarming.”
Nkhoma disclosed that Maula Prison in the capital Lilongwe has completely run out of money and they don’t have food.
According to published reports, Prison suppliers are refusing to supply food “because of prices.2
He is quoted in the press saying: “The problem is that they won fixed tenders, but they want to supply at the current rates prevailing on the ground.”
The fixed tenders were at the rate of K4 500 per 50 kg bag, but now a 50 kg bag of maize is selling at as high as K10 000.
Mulli meanwhile said he has “enough maize” in stock which he can supply to the prisons but said he would not do so, claiming that government was squeezing the company because of its association with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“They think if they give us contracts we shall use the money to support DPP to get back to power. But if people want DPP they will vote for it without money. We are a business and with God we shall survive,” said Mulli.
There are currently over 13 000 inmates in prisons across the country, up from 11 000 in 2011 because, according to Nkhoma, 1 000 new inmates are coming in every year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :