While Admarc’s maize contract with a Zambian company to supply 100 000 metric tonnes at $345 is controversial because it is considered too expensive, the State grain trader signed two more contracts with local maize suppliers at even higher prices, Weekend Nation has established.
New details show that the Agricultural Development and Marketing Coproration (Admarc) offered contracts for 140 000 metric tonnes (MT) for K36 billion to Delezina Trust and Alema Group of Companies at $350 and $360 per metric tonne, respectively.
Weekend Nation has established that on May 24 2016 Admarc signed a contract with Delezina Trust to supply 40 000 MT at $350 (around K255 000) per metric tonne, valued at K10 billion.
Then, on May 24 2016, Admarc gave a 100 000 MT contract to Alema Group and Company at $360 (K262 000) per metric tonne, which translates to around K26 billion at the present exchange rates.
Delezina Trust manager Henry D. Phoya signed the contract on behalf of the trust on July 18 2016 while Admarc’s administration and company secretary the late George Bakuwa signed on behalf of Admarc, according to documents we have seen.
In an interview on Wednesday, Phoya said he is aware of the existence of Delezina Trust but he is not its spokesperson and so could not say anything about the contract.
An employee of Alema Group and Company confided in Weekend Nation that the company supplied less than 6 000 MT out of the 100 000 MT contract and was paid for the maize. He said the contract was cancelled before the full quantity was delivered even after it was extended for another 60 days.
Said the source: “There were two challenges, one was that Admarc had not cleared the area where we were supposed to deliver the maize, which made it difficult for us to deliver the maize.
“We could not have waited for Admarc to give us a delivery site because we were incurring huge demurrage charges. The second challenge was that we had a small capital and Admarc was not paying on time. The contract expired before we delivered the full amount and it was automatically cancelled.
According to the contract, Alema was to deliver the maize at Admarc warehouse depot in Lilongwe.
Admarc chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe, who is on forced leave pending investigations on the Zambia maize deal, declined to comment on the contracts, citing the ongoing inquiry into the Zambia-linked maize deals which have courted controversy as reason.
Admarc, in July 2016, signed a contract with Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) to supply 100 000 MT of maize. The contract has courted controversy over the price.
Alema was supposed to deliver the maize to Admarc within two months from the date of signing the contract on May 28 2016, but failed to meet the deadline. The deal was extended for another 60 days.
Weekend Nation investigations revealed that Alema Group and company engaged several companies to lend them money to supply the maize to Admarc. Admarc was expected to assign the money to the company that Alema would borrow from so that the payment should be going to the lender and Alema would be collecting from the lender after subtracting their dues.
One of the companies that Alema approached was a Lilongwe-based company Publicitas Limited.
In a letter Bakuwa affirmed that the money for Alema was to go to Publicitas Limited.
“We kindly refer to your letter of June 6, on the above matter and advise that we have noted the contents thereof. We affirm that we shall make any and all payments due under the contract which was signed on May 24, 2016 between Admarc and Alema Group and Company to Publicitas Limited,” reads the letter of assignment that Weekend Nation has seen. n