Long lines of people at Lilongwe Admarc Depot
CURRENT AFFAIRS ONLINE NEWS desk has received serious revelations of alleged fraudulent activities happening at the Ministry of agriculture, irrigation and water development that has led to the massive hunger disaster countrywide.
Our investigations have exposed several mishaps of financial misappropriation and mismanagement.
The Malawi government approved a budget of K24 billion in last parliament seating for food security in the country via through it’s subsidiaries such as ADMARC, NFRA and DODMA.
The money was supposed to buy 150,000 metric tonnes of Maize; with DODMA being allocated 70,000 metric tonnes, ADMARC: 20,000 metric tonnes, and NFRA: 60,000 metric tonnes.
Sadly, the readily available funds now as we write the government has only K8 billion in it’s account, with K16 billion missing in the account.
K8 billion can only get them 17,000 metric tonnes of Maize.
The Ministry announced in December 2019, that it is buying maize from K200 to K250 per kg and it invited all food produce companies to move quickly as the hunger is looming at alarming state.
Few months down the line, it has been established almost 10% of the population are facing hunger disaster countrywide.
And several admarc depots have no maize supply or have but in short supply, which is making them to sale only 10kg per person once a week.
Today, 18th January 2020, It has been revealed that the Ministry want to procure 3,000 metric tonnes of maize flour to distribute to affected areas as southern region being the most hit where a 50kg bag of maize is selling at K22,000 compared to other parts beating the normal price.
What is saddening is that, it’s not timely done but is due to lack of funds to purchase maize from agro suppliers.
Our reporter managed to speak to AGRI ZONE INTERNATIONAL (AZIT) Managing Director Matias Bonongwe who amicably revealed his personal experience with the government.
Bonongwe says “Malawi agro farmers have plenty of maize to supply to the govt and personally i can end the disaster in 21 days given the opportunity to supply the needed tonnes of maize, infact we have told them arleady Azit can supply at K250 per kg and have shown them our paper work of logistics but they have turn us down on numerous occasions.All we are asking for is part payment to assist us in our logistics”
And according to a source within the Ministry has confided in our reporter, (quoted verbatim) “My brother, the problem we have in this country is CORRUPTION and GREEDINESS amidst our leaders in our ministry, for instance some Malawians of Indian origins have been given contracts to supply maize at K350 per kg and in thousands of metric tonnes and they have been paid half in advance, while we have other suppliers standing by with maize at K250 per kg of Malawian origin.This is how the country has found itself in this mess”.
Current Affairs Malawi News desk is since appealing to the president of Malawi Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika to intervene before it’s too late, Malawians are dying of hunger not because of climate change or bad harvest neither weather but rather our public institutions dont have maize and this maize is available but the officials dont want to buy the maize because staff/officials are benefiting from this hunger disaster.
The hunger disaster is man made to create room for kickbacks and self aggrandizement.
NFRA is sending away several trucks of maize from black agro farmers saying their maize is wet or discolored but yet they’re receiving discolored maize only from those whom they’re benefiting from which is very sad. Current Affairs has learnt with great pain these revelations as these allegations are not new to the public ear.
Why can’t the Ministry buy maize from those who are cheap like AZIT Malawian business people and citizens who would offer maize to government on fair prices at K250 per kg unlike buying at 350 per kg from some Indians where officials from ADMARC and NFRA are swindling (stealing) k10 as commission from each Kg meaning officially they are buying at k340 kg instead.
On 10th January this year, President Mutharika launched the US$95 Million Agricultural Commercialization Project(AGCOM) the project is financially empowered by World Bank IDA credit financing.
The main goal according to the president is to empower, and transform smallholder agriculture from mostly subsistence to commercial, yet and sadly, the Ministry seems not to have grasped all this translating into something which is just serving as an obstacle to farmers to commercialize their crops that’s according to a preliminary research conducted to a few cross section of smallholder farmers.