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Admarc speaks on Admike K788 million claim

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Felix Jumbe

State-owned Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has said it has agreed with private firm, Admike Import and Export Limited, to square the K788,125,336.80 interest claim as the national grain marketer owes the company.

Admarc was commenting on a statement delivered by Parliamentary Agriculture Committee Chairperson Sameer Suleiman in Parliament on Tuesday, when he asked President Lazarus Chakwera to intervene in the affairs of Admarc to save the grain trader from extinction.

Commenting on the State of the Nation Address delivered by Chakwera some two weeks ago, Suleiman said it was worrying to note that Admarc was sailing in troubled waters.

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Suleiman claimed that, as of Tuesday, the accounts of Admarc had been garnished and that, already, K2.5 billion had been lost through dubious means at Admarc.

“We, as a committee, are on this issue and will, soon, be coming with a report regarding Admarc,” Suleiman said.

He added that Admarc had also been struggling to get the K300 billion it needs to recapitalise.

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“We know that Admarc started looking for loans from private banks and they managed to find a South African company that was ready to give them the money and, in return, Admarc could pay back using produce. It was giving Admarc some grace period, which was commendable. That could have revived Admarc. We are talking of big money.

“But, unfortunately, as I stand today, I should say that that deal is not going through because the issue was referred to the government to try and assist to push for this deal but, unfortunately, the government comes back and says ‘we cannot trace this bank’. Honestly, it’s a lame excuse. The bank is South African, the individuals are from South Africa; why not go to South Africa and find out? But to stop the whole process because you have gone on a computer and you cannot track such person; that is not serious,” Suleiman said.

But commenting on the Admike issue, Admarc spokesperson Agnes Ndovie admitted that Admike Import and Export Limited obtained a freezing injunction of Admarc accounts on May 7 this year but that this was stayed the following day.

“The reason was that there is a case between Admike and Admarc where the former obtained an order for interest for K788,125,336.80 according to a Summary Judgement for interest that they obtained against Admarc. The claim for interest arose from a contract between Admike and Admarc, where the former supplied maize valued at K652,360,000 to the latter and Admarc didn’t pay until Admike commenced an action against it in court.

“Admike and Admarc entered into an agreed order for the payment of the interest and [Admarc has] since paid K400 million. The balance will be paid in three equal monthly instalments,” Ndovi said.

Speaking when Admarc launched its transformation agenda in August last year, the then Admarc acting chief executive officer Felix Jumbe said it was high time the institution stopped getting piecemeal funding if the new vision were to be achieved.

“Our biggest challenge is that there have not been deliberate programmes to capitalise Admarc. This has resulted in it operating from hand to mouth and, eventually, failing to deliver on its core mandate. If we acquire that [K300 billion capital], we can guarantee that Admarc will be able to sustain itself,” Jumbe said.

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