The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) yesterday said it will—in conjunction with its Zambian counterparts—investigate the procurement of 100 000 metric tonnes (MT) of maize from Malawi’s western neighbour.
In an interview yesterday, ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala confirmed that the bureau has since taken up the matter to investigate.
“Following the media reports, we are now on this matter,” she said, without giving further details.
In a separate interview yesterday, ACB director general Lucas Kondowe further explained that the bureau will work with the Anti-Corruption Commission of Zambia to analyse documents related to the deal to establish, if any, wrongdoing.
“We will be reviewing the tender documents together with the Zambian anti-corruption agency. We will start by looking at the tender documents then other aspects of the investigations will follow,” said Kondowe.
ACB’s position comes against the background of a storm over the procurement of imported maize, especially from Zambia to help cushion the hunger crisis in Malawi that has left around half the population starving as a combination of drought and flooding hit local agricultural output hard.
On Monday, members of Parliament (MPs) under the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security also pushed ACB to launch an inquiry into the maize scandal involving K26 billion.
While Admarc insists that it is buying the staple grain from Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), a government agency, documents show that Admarc may have used a private Zambian company that may be more expensive than if the deal were government-to-government.
Admarc has reportedly paid $34.5 million (about K26 billion) for the maize, which is $13 million (about K9.5 billion) more than the $21.5 million (about K15 billion) it could have paid had it bought the maize from Zambian Government. n