Special joint Parliamentary Committee has begun inquiries on the mismanagement of 750 million kwacha meant for this year’s Affordable Inputs Program AIP
This comes few weeks after president Dr Lazarus Chakwera fired former Minister of agriculture Lobin Lowe following the revelation by chairperson of parliamentary committee of agriculture Sameer Suleman that government was swindled 30 billion kwacha for AIP by a British company
The special committee comprising 21 members of parliamentary committees of budget and agriculture asked questions board of directors and Chief executive officer of Small Holder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi SFFRFM Marjorie Phiri and Richard Chikunkhuzeni respectively.
Phiri and Chikunkhuzeni admitted that they were part of the team that went to Egypt, UK and Germany to search for a company to buy the fertilizer
Phiri said Ministry of agriculture bypassed SFFRFM in some processes of the deal adding that the board does not a specialist in procurement.
Chikunkhuzeni told the committee that Ministers Timothy Mtambo and Richard Chimwendo Banda went to South Africa to search for fertilizer suppliers
When asked on why Mtambo and Chimwendo Banda were part of the delegation as they are not experts in that field Chikunkhuzeni said the decision was made by ministerial taskforce and not SFFRFM
“The K750 million fertilizer deal which went sour was more exciting to Ministry of Agriculture than any other stakeholder,” Chikunkhuzeni
He said the then Principal Secretary of Agriculture Sandram Maweru introduced the fund to Bakaart Food Company.
Marjorie said Germany government has arrested a man in connection to the deal.
Phiri disclosed that Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda leading the recovery initiative of the money in Germany.
According to Phiri, as of October 24, SFFRFM had recovered about K188 million from the amount which was credited in the fund’s account