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Admarc loses K243 million cotton money

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There are fears that the Agricultural Development and Marketing corporation (Admarc) has been duped of $236,000 (K243 million) of 150 metric tonnes of Cotton lint which Chartia Textile Company collected on credit from the corporation’s ginnery at Ngabu in Chikwawa District around November 2022.

Correspondence that we have seen shows that Admarc officials are now trying to recover the lint from Chartia, which has been struggling to pay for the commodity.

“Efforts are underway to try to recover the cotton. The buyer has failed to pay for the commodity and this is causing problems within the system,” said our source over the weekend.

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We have it on authority that, Monday, Admarc management called for a meeting with officials of the company but the latter did not turn up.

Admarc former acting general manager Jerome Nkhoma Monday said he was not privy to the matter as he left Admarc in June 2022.

“Talk to Head of Finance Chrissy Mangani or Head of Administration Ethel Zilirakhasu,” Nkhoma said.

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When contacted, Mangani asked us to call her after 10 minutes but did not pick our calls when we did.

But threads of correspondence we have seen show that the sale of the commodity was authorised by some Admarc officials.

The contract status was also highlighted by Export Development Fund (EDF), which is Admarc’s financier on cotton production, which, through its official Zacharia Hara, wrote Mangani on November 9 2022, informing him that they could not engage the buyer in the absence of a contract.

“We have, however, noted that the contract between Admarc and Chartia expired. We are further informed that the same is being extended by yourselves. As you will note from the attached Line of Credit documents, Chartia has a very small window to do the transaction. We understand the contract extension process may take a while. We therefore wish to request that, in the meantime, you should write to us to confirm that you are processing the contract extension,” Hara wrote.

In response to Hara, Mangani promised to refer the matter to Nkhoma, who has since distanced himself from the issue.

“…please arrange for staff from your office/collateral managers so that we can go and verify the lint currently being kept by Chartia in the warehouse,” Mangani’s email to Hara reads.

Managing Director for Chartia Textiles Richard Kamoto Ashan did not pick our calls but, in a letter to Mangani on November 9 2022, he lamented that delays in extending his company’s contract with Admarc and closure of the corporation’s commercial activities affected their business.

And Executive Director for Cotton Council of Malawi Cosmas Luwanda said Monday that the issue has not yet come to their attention.

Meanwhile, Admarc Board newly appointed chairperson, Professor Zachary Kasomekera, has said he is yet to be briefed on any issues to do with the corporation, adding that they will have their first meeting Wednesday.

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