Officials from Parliament’s inquiry on the procurement of Zambia maize say the probe on maizegate has been extended up to next week, a week long extension.
Co chair of the committee Dr Joseph Chidanti Malunga said the inquiry was supposed to run up to Friday but there is unfinished business to tackle.
“We have to recall some of the people we already interviewed,” he said.
Some of the people to be recalled include the Admarc CEO Foster Mulumbe and the director of public procurement Paul Taulo.
The Agriculture Committee of Parliament in conjunction with the Public Accounts Committee are holding the joint inquiry following reports that Agriculture minister George Chaponda and Admarc CEO Mulumbe were allegedly involved in suspicious under dealings in the procurement of maize.
Each member of parliament sitting on the inquiry gets K50000 a day as sitting allowance and will get money for wear and tear of their vehicles.
On Friday, deputy chair of Public Accounts Committee was accused in social media of asking irrelevant questions to Agriculture ministry principal secretary Erica Maganga as some people wondered if he was not getting the questions outside the room through whatsapp.
The members of parliament were also accused of wanting to hear what they wanted to hear from Maganga by giving her unnecessary pressure after she had eloquently and ably answered the questions.
Meanwhile, Malawi News reports that Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) did not do any due diligence on possible suppliers of maize from Zambia as it has emerged that the Zambia Cooperation Federation (ZCF) which it approached after cancelling a contract with Kaloswe Couriers did also not have the grain.
ZCF instead relied on scouting for the maize and some of the suppliers that have supplied the maize so far are local companies from Malawi.
The paper quotes a local supplier that Admarc’s decision to buy from Zambia surprised some local companies who wondered why they were sidelined when they had stocks of maize right here in Malawi.
ZCF jumped into the supply of maize deal even when they knew they did not have the maize because the company wanted to raise money to raise operational funds for the federation.
Quotes reported in Zambia media on ZCF Director General James Chirwa confirmed that the federation had no maize and that it had only bought 8 000 metric tonnes of maize from small scale farmers by October last year.
The federation had nodded to export 100, 000 tonnes to Malawi.
“You see we have gone into this maize purchase and maize sale also…a very painful decision that we had to make, we were to buy the maize and sell it so that we can raise operational funds for the institution to be able to buy the maize to feed into the milling plants,” Chirwa was quoted.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :