Malawi Parliament’s Agriculture Committee on Wednesday visited the ministry of Agriculture offices at Capital Hill in Lilongwe and expressed concern over the colossal damage.
The chairperson of the committee, Joseph Chidanti Malunga expressed shock at the damage, saying it would take time before the offices are rehabilitated and staff get back.
He also said the government would need huge sums of money to rehabilitate the offices.
The unexplained fire damaged the office of the Agriculture minister, the Agriculture minister’s secretary office and Agriculture ministry principal secretary.
“This was indeed fierce fire,” said Malunga.
Ministry of Agriculture principal secretary Erica Maganga said police investigators and forensic experts are yet to determine the cause of the fire.
She said the government is asking donors to help rehabilitate the offices so that life comes back to normal for the members of staff.
Maganga said in a statement soon after the fire gutted the offices that the cause was electrical problems stemming from a plug but later withdrew the statement amid allegations former Agriculture minister George Chaponda torched the offices to conceal evidence in the ongoing Anti-Corruption Bureau investigations on maizegate.
Chaponda denied the allegations.