Police in Lilongwe on March 29 this year arrested Veronica Mtonga, an Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) officer, for allegedly misappropriating cash, maize and subsidised fertiliser valued at K108.6 million (about $161 100).
Kanengo Police spokesperson Esther Mkwanda said Mtonga, who was based at Lumbadzi Admarc Depot in Lilongwe, is suspected to have misappropriated cash amounting to K855 000 (about $1 313); 3 033 bags of maize valued at K16.7 million (about $24 776) and 4 140 bags of fertiliser under the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) worth K91 million (about $135 000).
She said five Admarc accounts books valued at K7 500 were also reported missing from Mtonga’s office.
Mkwanda said from October 2015, Lumbadzi Admarc Depot started receiving maize from Zambia for distribution to other markets across the Central Region, but Mtonga was allegedly not indicating receipt of the commodity in her records.
However, according to police, drivers of the trucks delivering the maize were submitting delivery notes to Admarc regional manager to indicate that Lumbadzi Depot was receiving the maize.
Mkwanda said after carrying out stock-taking, Mtonga allegedly failed to account for the maize and fertiliser. She is said to have written the regional manager admitting that there were “some anomalies”.
Mtonga has been charged with theft by public servant contrary to Section 283 of the Penal Code, according to Mkwanda.
She appeared before the Mkukula Magistrate’s Court on Friday where she pleaded not guilty to the charges. She is currently on remand at Maula Prison in Lilongwe pending hearing in 14 days’ time.
Mtonga, 35, comes from Padukana Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kaluluma in Kasungu. She joined Admarc 13 years ago and has worked at Lumbadzi Depot for five years, according to police. n