Following the adoption of the report on the Zambia maize inquiry by Parliament, chairperson for the Parliamentary Agriculture Committee, Joseph Chidanti-Malunga, has called for the speedy prosecution of all involved in the scandal.
Members of Parliament (MPs) yesterday adopted the Maizegate report eight months after the scandal surfaced.
Speaking in Parliament, Chidanti-Malunga said now that the report has been adopted by the whole House, law enforcers should expedite the arrest and prosecution of all that were involved in the scam.
He said: “It is now a parliamentary report, which means that everything that was said in that report has to be done. So, government will have that obligation to adhere to the recommendations of the report.
“We have different recommendations for the people that we interviewed. For example, for Honourable [George] Chaponda [former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development], further investigations have to be done to find out what exactly happened and for the other officers that lied to us have to be taken to courts.”
The joint committee of Parliament, which conducted the inquiry into Admarc maize procurement from neighbouring Zambia, echoed recommendations of the presidential commission of inquiry that Chaponda should be further investigated on the corruption element.
Chidanti-Malunga said the investigation was worth it because it has saved a lot of money which could have exchanged hands through abuse of office and corruption in the procurement of maize from Zambia.
The report tore apart Chaponda’s testimony that the country was in a critical food crisis, therefore, some laws had to be flouted to procure maize.
Chidanti-Malunga said the procurement procedures were flouted willy-nilly and there seemed to be no regard for the law.
Seconding the adoption, Mangochi Monkey Bay MP Ralph Jooma (People’s Party-PP) said there was need to discipline some controlling officers in government to prevent and control the thefts.
Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi, the official government spokesperson, said the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) was still investigating the matter as it involves crossborder transactions and would alert the President when done. n