The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture , Irrigation and Water Development chairperson Jospeh Chidanti Malunga has said Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) chief executive officer (CEO) Foster Mulumbe will be summoned again to appear before members of Parliament (MPs) investigating the Malawi-Zambia maize deal after Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) faulted the State-produce trader in the ‘maizegate’.
Director of public procurement Paul Taulo told Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture at Parliament Building, Lilongwe, that his office could have cancelled the maize transaction had President Peter Mutharika not established a Commission of Inquiry.
ODPP officials accused Admarc of providing false information to facilitate a quicker No Objection certificate on the Malawi purchase of maize in Zambia.
Taulo and his team were invited again to the inquiry after their first appearance MPs noted discrepancies in the dates the request for No Objection was made and the date Admarc internal procurement committee (IPC) resolved to make this request.
From the documents presented to the committee, the No Objection was issued two days after submission of IPC meeting minutes. In a normal circumstance, the rules minutes, which were supposed to originate from the IPC, were supposed to precede the request for the No Objection certificate.
And on Monday, ODPP deputy director if public procurement, Edward Jeke told the inquiry that Admarc did not do an open tender.
“Ding procurement using less competitive methods of procurement, worse [still] single sourcing, is something we are usually not happy with because you are dealing with one supplier who has better negotiating position than yourselves,” Jeke said.
Taulo maintained that when he was three days in office by June 17 2016, Admarc boss Mulumbe called him to issue a No Objection certificate.
He disclosed that the Admarc CEO told him that they [Admarc] had sourced maize from Zambia and they were in need of advisory services from the ODPP.
Malunga said Mulumbe and Admarc team will be summoned to hear their side of the story after ODPP testimonies.