President Peter Mutharika has warned will take action against corrupt Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) officials conniving and selling government maize to vendors in bulks, thereby creating grain shortage in official selling outlets.
Vendors, whom some are sourcing their commodity from Admarc, are selling the grain at exorbitant price with a 50kg bag going at a minimum of K15,000 in some markets. Admarc sells 50kg bag at K5, 500.
Mutharika in a statement to the nation on Wednesday labelled what is happening to the maize at Admarc depots as totally unacceptable.
“I am further informed that some Admarc officials are conniving together with some criminal maize vendors, who buy Admarc maize at night and sell it to poor Malawians elsewhere at very exorbitant prices,” said Mutharika.
“In some places poor Malawians are forced to buy this maize at K15, 000 per 50kg bag, because they cannot find maize at Admarc”.
Mutharika branded the conduct of some vendors and crooked Admarc officials as outrageous and most criminal.
“It is moral recklessness which I am not going to tolerate, or allow continuing. I must warn everyone strongly that such atrocities by criminal Admarc maize vendors have got to stop immediately. I have instructed the Police to investigate thoroughly, and take vigorous action. If they catch you, you will go to jail. So you better stop right away”.
The President assured the nation that police will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that these culprits do not return on the scene to steal more maize.
Mutharika has since called on Malawians to be more patriotic and help police apprehend vendors and Admarc officials conniving to divert the maize which is meant to be available for those genuinely in need of it.
Media reports stated that a woman in township of Ndirande in Blantyre fainted while queuing on an empty stomach to buy maize at Ndirande-Chinseu Admarc depot.
Reports stated that the woman whose identity is not verified was pushed by the crowd and fell to the ground but regained conscious after being taken to a local health clinic.
An assessment by government last year indicated that about 2.8 million will experience food shortage and need assistance.
Currently, the food shortage situation is worsening in the country and people are spending nights at Admarc depots just to access the grain which are only allowed to buy a minimum of 20kgs per individual.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :