There is a recurrence of misconduct like cashgate in the government which calls for no selective justice in investigating abuses as Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe is getting involved in direct procurement.
Nyasa Times has established that Gondwe is directly responsible for maizwe procurement which is signed at Treasury.
Gondwe is the country’s purse keeper for being Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
However, the procurement of maize by Treasury has not amused Agriculture Minister George Chaponda, wondering why Treasury is procuring the grain and not the responsible ministry.
Gondwe has procured maize directly from outside Malawi by sugning contracts on behald of Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (Admarc) to get 300,000 metric tonnes..
“Finance Minister is procuring maize unilaterally and this is against the set rules,” a source in the ministry of agriculture said.
“Ordinarily such procurement should be done by Admarc and treasury should provide guarantees,” the source added.
Treasury spokesperson Nations Msowoya was coy to comment and referred the reporter to the Finance Minister who when contacted said he was “too busy” to grant an interview.
This development comes after newspaper reports indicated that government is processing a U$105 million loan (about K75 billion in current exchange rate) through American financial giant JP Morgan Chase for Admarc to import 300,000 metric tonnes of maize.
This loan has a 2 percent repayment rate and will run for 14 years which include a grace period of four years.
The tonnage from this loan is part of the 490,000 metric tonnes which will be made available to Admarc over a period of five months.
Malawi News reported last Saturday that JP Morgan Chase line of credit is one of several which the government is undertaking for the purpose of maize procurement in its response to the dire food situation in the country.
The government has also established a line of credit with the PTA Bank to finance the importation by Admarc of 100,000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia.
It has also provided two bank guarantees to CDH Investment Bank for the procurement of an estimated 90,000 metric tonnes of maize on the local market.