Confusion over rotten maize – Capital Radio Malawi
23 April, 2024

The Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale, is describing as untrue claims that 10 000 metric tons of maize have rotten, arguing that they are only not fit for human consumption.

On Thursday chairperson of the parliamentary committee on agriculture Sameer Suleman, alleged that some politicians connived to sale the said tonnage of  Maize which Government stated has gone bad.

Suleman requested the speaker of parliament Catherine Gotani Hara to empower the committee to conduct an inquiry into the matter, adding that the politicians sold the Maize at 800 kwacha per kilogram after buying from ADMARC at 300 kwacha per KG.

“The country’s staple food has gone to Kenya and sold through politicians to companies locally while people are queuing to have access to the commodity,” alleges Suleiman.

In response Sam Kawale dismissed the allegations, pointing out that the said maize has just been fumigated while another portion is yet to undergo fumigation hence not fit for consumption.

The Minister on Tuesday this week reported to Parliament of a payment of a loan by the World Bank to banks that ADMARC owed and were using the maize as collateral.

Kawale- his statement on is being questioned

One of the loan repayment conditions was that only maize fit for human consumption should be taken out and be put in the strategic grain reserve and the remaining must undergo further assessment.

The World Bank engaged a company to conduct  the assessment, because in October last year it was found that some of the maize was not yet fumigated and another chunk had just been fumigated.

About 12,000 metric tons of the crop was deemed not fit for human consumption.

According to Kawale they are yet to get a report whether the remaining 10,000 metric tons has been certified for human consumption.

‘What I said was that the maize was not fit for consumption, not rotten and I was very careful with my choice of words, not fit for human consumption because it was fumigated,’’ adds Kawale.

Meanwhile

Pressure is piling on the authorities to institute an independent investigation and hold to account those responsible for the status of the maize.

There are unconfirmed reports indicating that the rotten maize is 38 metric tonnes.

The reports further allege that some huge maize stocks are not rotten, but were sold dubiously.

Those implicated include some senior government officials, former cabinet ministers and a sitting legislator.

The reports further allege that some huge maize stocks are not rotten, but were sold dubiously.

Those implicated include some senior government officials, former cabinet ministers and a sitting legislator.

Speaking to Capital FM, Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation-CHRR Michael Kaiyatsa insists that without evidence it is difficult to believe that the maize did indeed go bad.

Weighing in his views on the matter Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency-CSAT’s Willy Kambwandira says there is need for clarity and transparency on the matter.

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