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Admarc board meets over Zambia maize saga

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The Board of Directors for Admarc met yesterday over the controversy surrounding the purchase of maize by the grain marketer from Zambia but chairperson of the body could not reveal what they had agreed on.

The chairperson, James Masumbu, also denied reports that circulated on social media yesterday that they has suspended Admarc Chief Executive Office Foster Mulumbe to pave way for investigations into the matter.

Masumbu said instead that they would be releasing a statement next week detailing what they discussed at the meeting.

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“Yes we had a meeting and it ended this afternoon. That meeting did not resolve that Mr Mulumbe should be suspended. We are preparing a statement outlining our position on this matter and we will release that statement next week,” he said.

The maize purchase has caused uproar following reports that Admarc involved a middle man in the transaction, a development which is feared to have been responsible for the K12,500 price a 50 kg bag is selling in Admarc markets.

The price is seen as prohibitive to the very vulnerable households which the purchase of the 100,000 metric tonnes was intended for.

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Times Group has been running a series of stories on this matter and at the height of the revelations, Mulumbe obtained an injunction restraining Times Group from publishing what he called “false and untrue” stories.

Meanwhile, the Malawi Law Society has resolved to apply to the High Court to join Times Group in the case as friends of the court.

In statement released yesterday, the Society said it had decided to join the matter “to offer its insights into the principles of press freedom, freedom of expression generally and their indispensability as far as matters of national interest are concerned”.

For the purchase of the maize, Admarc obtained a government guaranteed loan amounting to $34.4 million from the PTA Bank.

President Peter Mutharika has since set a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the matter.

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