Parliament has reprimanded Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) board of directors’ resolution to recall chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe from his forced leave before investigations are concluded.
Admarc board sent Mulumbe on a 20-day forced leave to pave the way for a probe into his alleged participation in the dubious procurement of 100 000 tonnes of maize from Zambia.
After the investigations, which were executed by two separate commissions of inquiry one instituted by President Peter Mutharika and the other by Parliament Mulumbe was implicated for flouting procurement procedures and a recommendation was made for a further probe by the AntiCorruption Bureau (ACB).
However, the board few days ago reinstated Mulumbe before ACB concludes its investigations, a development that has dismayed the joint parliamentary commission of inquiry.
In an interview yesterday, cochairperson of the parliamentary committee Joseph Chidanti Malunga said his committee was saddened with the board’s decision which was disrespectful of Parliament.
“We are saddened with what has happened. We actually recommended that these people must be investigated by ACB and now they are reinstating his status.
“That means, basically, they are disregarding the recommendations that Parliament had made and it is sad to us. What message are they trying to send out there? That Parliament can recommend something and then can just be disregarded?” queried Malunga who is also chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security.
But Admarc board chairperson James Masumbu, explained that Mulumbe was exclusively sent on leave on one condition that “we didn’t want him to be around while the presidential commission of inquiry was carrying out its mandate.”
“When the commission finished its work and submitted the findings to the President, obviously there was nothing for us to stop him from coming back to work. So, after his 20 days elapsed, he asked the board that he wanted to come back and we accepted that,” explained Masumbu.