No records of K4.4bn maize proceeds, Malawi Parliament query Admarc
State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has been asked by the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to be accountable on the K4.4 billion proceeds it got from selling government maize.
Admarc, embroiled in maize scam following questionable maize imports from Zambia, had K4 billion realised from the sale of SS530 448 tonnes of maize on behalf of Malawi government account to the Audit Report of 2013/14.
However, the money realised has not been banked.
The audit report also noted that Admarc used an amount equivalent to that of the maize proceeds without seeking authority from the Ministrt of Finance.
Itr was also revealed that supporting documents or authorising documents were missing.
PAC chairperson Alekeni Menyani said Admarc must give information on “ particular account where the money was put.”
Menyani said his committee will “dig deeper” into the matter and even involve the graft-busting body, Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).
Admarc acting CEO Margret Roka Mauwa told the committe that “ it is indeed true that Admarc failed to trace K4.4billion.”
She, however, said they will strike to trace the documentation.
Admarc is currently choked with a K37 billion debt.
Roka-Mauwa attributed the situation to government’s failure to fulfil its obligations based on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Admarc and government.
Currently, Admarc operates 700 markets and nine major depots nationwide. Out of the markets, 205 are classified as uneconomic.
Under the MoU arrangement, government is supposed to reimburse Admarc the cost of running the markets. However, this has not been happening to date.
Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet) national coordinator Pamela Kuwali said as a commercial entity, the expectation is that Admarc should be able to use its proceeds to cover costs.
“But it is important to note that Admarc is still a public entity whose mandate is to provide service to Malawians, intervene to ensure that prices offered to farmers are competitive and that maize is available at an affordable price for Malawians.
“The State is, therefore, responsible to ensure that Admarc functions and its operations continue. It must be noted that Admarc is only commercial in principle; in reality government owns 99 percent of its shares,” she said.
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Back in the 1970s, when I worked in Zambia, ADMARC was the envy of Zambians, with its efficiency and the benefit it brought to subsistence farmers with surplus crops. Now it is next to useless! Surely this can’t be blamed on colonialism?! More like the inefficiency of successive governments and their reluctance to deal with corruption, malpractice.
Here is another cash gate. That is why our friends are building strange houses.
If truth be told, Malawian as a country has been so lax in dealing with those caught in public money stealing/abuse/swindling to an extent that we all do not fear stealing from government. We have come to believe that once in a position to handle public finances, the easiest way out of personal poverty is to help ourselves from the public coffers. The only consequence that will befall such a person is appearing in the media, being arrested, granted bail (because he/she has rights) and next is to enjoy the money. With this, stealing from the public purse has become… Read more »
I hate what is happening
Malawi at 53 – the Flames, kuba kokhakokha from top to bottom
No wonder that 2013/2014 Financial Year had all the effects of cash gate.Documents were either burnt or shredded to render no reconciliation and trace. Why finding this that late instead of in 2015? The best is to revamp ADMARC getting rid off all dead woods, inject cash and a new system to restore its old glory. This company used to be profitable.