State-produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has rushed to High Court to seek a court injunction and gagged Malawi’s leading news organisation, Times Group, to stop revealing the rot in the procurement process of maize from neighbouring Zambia.
Admarc through lawyer Shepher Mumba, who has been a corporate governance lecturer at University of Malawi (Unima), sought a court injunction granted by High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda stopping Times Group from writing about the maize deal.
The order said the publication should not report “false and untrue “ stories about Admarc in relation to the procurement of maize from Zambia.
However, it is yet to be seen if Times will obey the order as they have been reporting not false stories but actually the true picture of the rotten maize deal, which Nyasa Times has also been reporting and were first to cover the matter after Zambian opposition UPP leader, Saviour Chishimba blew the whistle.
The High Court warned that if the newspaper disobey the order – of writing false stories – they may be found guilty of contempt of court.
The order has also included reporter Ntchindi Meki and newspaper columnist Madalitso Mussa who is the author of Tales of Times.
The maize purchase deal is currently marred with controversy regarding contractual issues involving Admarc and a private Zambian company, Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Limited.
While Admarc boss Foster Mulumbe insists that Admarc is buying the staple grain from Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), a government agency, documents show that Admarc is actually using Kaloswe.
Meanwhile, Kaloswe is suing Admarc for breach of contract.
According to Kaloswe chief executive officer, Isaac Kapambwe, his company signed a contract with Admarc in June 2016 to purchase and deliver maize.
Kapambwe said his company has “all communications” on the deal with Admarc.