Limbe Police in Blantyre on Wednesday arrested an Admarc employee and a vendor for allegedly attempting to buy 150 bags of maize from Admarc operations depot in Limbe.
The incident happened earlier in the day—before President Peter Mutharika issued a stern warning that his government was going to deal with vendors who were conniving with officials to “steal” the scarce commodity.
Limbe Police Station deputy spokesperson Pedzisai Zembeneko confirmed in an interview the arrest of the Admarc employee Francis Kwakwaniwa, 51, from Ntchiwa Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Nkanda, Mulanje and Lemani Nikisi, 34, from Karambo Village, T/A Kawinga, Machinga.
Zembeneko claimed Kwakwaniwa, a messenger at the operations office, arranged for Nikisi who approached him to buy 100 bags of maize and paid K550 000.
But the release order, Zembeneko said, showed that 150 bags were due for release but covered by the same amount of K550 000, meaning the additional 50 bags, each going for K5 500, were not paid for.
The Limbe Police publicist said thorough check by other Admarc officers discovered that some documents were allegedly forged, leading to the immediate arrest of Kwakwaniwa and Nikisi.
Zembeneko said police charged the two with forgery of official document, uttering a false document and attempting to obtain goods by false pretence.
The two, police said, appeared at Midima Magistrate’s Court and were granted bail. They are due to appear in court again on February 22, according to police.
Police learnt that Nikisi wanted to buy the maize in the name of an orphanage based in Bangwe Township.
At a time when there is maize scarcity and hunger across the country, Admarc officials are facing accusations of conniving with vendors who buy the maize for resell to desperate Malawians at exorbitant prices.