Viola K3.3 billion maize deal fate on Thursday: NFRA holds hearing

Beleaguered National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) deputy chief executive officer Gerald Viola implicated in a K3.3 billion maize deal will know his fate after a final disciplinary hearing to be held in Mangochi on Thursday, Nyasa Times understands.

Viola: Denies any wrongdoing

Nyasa Times can reveal that Viola, who is suspected to have single handedly gave out a contract to Lilongwe based Missie’s Trading through a Local Purchase Order (L.P.O) to supply 10,000 metric tonnes of maize worth K3.3 billion, will appear before the disciplinary hearing where he is expected to defend himself from the charges of fraud, corruption and abuse of office.

Insiders said during an earlier disciplinary hearing which took place at Ku Chawe Lodge in Zomba a few weeks ago, several witnesses including the owner of Missie’s Trading Chrispin Chingola testified against Viola.

“This final hearing will have all the people who testified against Viola during the first hearing come face to face with Viola and tell the committee events leading to the scandal,” said the source.

An investigative report of the issue indicate that Chingola was given the contract through an L.P.O instead of a contract agreement as is per procedure directly by Viola and he demanded 10% of the total contract price.

“Mr. Viola drove to Blantyre in the company of Mr. Chingola using his official Toyota Prado registration number BP 2911 where Mr. Chingola asked fellow businessmen to put together the K330 million which Mr. Viola demanded because (Mr. Chingola) could not raise on his own.”

“Some of Mr. Chingola’s business associates offered to contribute to the kitty, others pledged K50 million, another pledged K30 million. But one of them, Mr. Anack Mbaya questioned how the deal of this magnitude could be given through an L.P.O. This is when the group contacted NFRA management to verify the contract and were shocked when they were told that NFRA contracts such as the one they were talking about are only given by the Internal Procurement Committee (IPC) and through a contract agreement not an L.P.O,” reads part of the investigation report.

The report also reveals that Viola contacted Mbaya where he apologized on the issue and Mbaya presented to the committee messages sent to his mobile number from Viola apologizing on the deal.

Insiders also said some employees are also set to testify against Viola on how he secured a blank L.P.O number 6750 to write details of the contract including his mobile number.

“We have an employee who will testify that he gave the L.P.O book to Viola to photocopy a blank L.P.O which he used to write details of the contract. When we checked the original L.P.O number 6750, it is blank and we have kept it secure so that it helps in our investigation,” said the source privy to the investigation.

The deal has also attracted the attention of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Fiscal Police who are said to have demanded documents in relation with the issue soon after NFRA finalize its disciplinary procedures.

Chingola admitted that he provided information to NFRA management on the deal and that he has been invited to ‘a meeting in Mangochi on the same on Thursday 9th April 2020’.

Mbaya also confirmed that he raised an alarm on the contract ‘because experience tells me huge contracts like these cannot be given through an L.P.O’.

Viola said in an earlier interview with Nyasa Times said that he is aware that some people want to bring him down and disowned the L.P.O.

He denies any wrong doing.

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Gwaridi
Gwaridi
5 months ago

Where is Ku Chawe Lodge in Zomba

Thyolo Thava Boy
5 months ago

Thats DPP style of doing things, go to MACRA, MBC, Lilongwe Water Board, Bt Water Board, Southern Region Water Board, NRWB, CRWB, ADMARC, ESCOM, EGENCO, MANEB etc you will find Mlakho guys are sharing public funds through dubious contracts and the money goes to the party, the minister and the president himself dont forget Karim`s MK145m saga. But the good thing is that the end is NEAR.

Kanjedza
Kanjedza
5 months ago

Wish was a part of the investigation team. Could have enjoyed Ku Chawe Inn and Mangochi. Can anyone throw light as to why investigation cannot be done within the office premises. Is the atmosphere in the office not conducive

Mwene
Mwene
5 months ago

All Political appointments into statutory bodies should be stopped. This is one reason why most are not performing. The appointees are sent there to steal for themselves, the party and the president/ministers.Appointments should be based on merit to eliminate this malpractice.Does NFRA really need a Deputy CEO with all the perks when there are Directors there??? Our taxes are being missused/abused.These monies can better be used to buy medicines for our hospitals for the benefit of all Malawians.

Omex70
Omex70
5 months ago

DPP kuba ndiye ‘Trade Mark’ yawo. APM amakonda ma crooks kuwapatsa maudindo.

Thyolo Thava Boy
5 months ago
Reply to  Omex70

That`s true Omex70

Touch and Go
Touch and Go
5 months ago

Viola kuba kopanda nako manyazi

Mabvuto
Mabvuto
5 months ago

Tikudikira ma comment ochokera kwa ma Cadet pano kuti amuyikire kumbuyo Viola amene anayikudwa pa mpando ndi Peter , through had picking, akuti apeze ndrama za campaign, Chipani chonukha ichi,

Omex70
Omex70
5 months ago
Reply to  Mabvuto

Panopa ma kadeti abisala, sangaoneke ayi.

Thyolo Thava Boy
5 months ago
Reply to  Omex70

kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Aalex
Aalex
5 months ago

Awa siaja anali kumbuyo kwa lorry atagwidwa akubela mavoti aja? What do we expect from such people? These are white collared thieves. The more we allow these DPP thugs to remain in power the more chances that our beautiful Malawi will economically be brought down to its knees.

5Judges
5Judges
5 months ago

Kodi a kapilikoni omwe amakamuuza APM mabodza a oposition samaonako zokubazi kapena poti onse ndi atsizina ntole?

DPP tamachitani manyazi ndi kuba. Makalumbilitsana kuti muthana ndi katangale kumbali mkumatele.

Lock down ndiye kukhala kuba kwa zaoneni.

Ngati mwayamba kale kutafuna za covid 19. Crooks in govt.

Mwagwidwanso, nanga awa ndi 5 Judges akugwirani?

Uncertain
Uncertain
5 months ago

Imeneyo ndiye DPP. Kuba.

katayeni chitutu
katayeni chitutu
5 months ago
Reply to  Uncertain

ndi uja anapandidwa limodzi ndi a Dausi ku Blantyre atanyamula ma voti a fake mu 2019

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