The National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA)) has been put on spot a contract was given to a firm through a Local Purchase Order (L.P.O) for the supply of maize amounting to a whooping K3.3 billion.
According to the LPO sources by Nyasa Times, deputy chief executive officer Gerald Viola single handedly gave the contract by-passing management.
Viola, a former presidential press secretary and a failed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member of parliament aspirant, gave the contract to Lilongwe based Missiels Trading Company on 22nd January 2020 without following proper procedure.
But Viola on Monday told Nyasa Times reporters that “it is not true. This is total lies.”
He accused some officials within NFRA of character assassination.
“That LPO is not authentic. No way,” he said.
Insiders said Viola demanded a 10% cut from the deal which translates to K330 million and this opened a Pandora’s Box.
“People started questioning about this deal and it was brought to the attention of management which summoned Viola to a disciplinary hearing. He accepted the charge and apologized,” said an insider privy to the issue.
According to the L.P.O number 6750 that Nyasa Times has seen, Viola gave Missiels Trading of Private Bag 26, Lilongwe a contract to supply 10,000 metric tonnes of maize at K330 per kg. He signed for it and indicated his mobile number +265 999 367 227.
“NFRA does not use L.P.O for maize purchases, it uses contract agreements and this has to go through the Internal procurement Committee (IPC) but Viola used his position as Deputy CEO to issue the contract, ignoring the IPC,” said a source at NFRA.
Another source who corroborated the story said the disciplinary hearing is in process and Viola accepted wrong doing and apologized.
“Management is cautious on how to deal with him because of the way he came here [political appointment] ,” said the source.
Viola insisted to Nyasa Times that he is aware that some people want to bring him down.
“It’s a scheme operated by a group of people; there is no truth. I cannot do that. It was all forged,” said Viola.
Aapart from the K10 billion government allocated to NFRA, they had a carry-over of K2 billion to buy maize.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :