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Admarc to fire 3122 employees

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State-owned grain trader, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), intends to fire 3122 employees as part of its restructuring exercise which is expected to be completed within three months.

Admarc Board Chairperson Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi disclosed this in Lilongwe Monday when the board appeared before the Trade, Industry and Tourism Committee of Parliament.

The decision to cut the workforce follows the move by Agriculture Minister, Lobin Lowe, to send all employees of the grain marketer on leave.

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According to Kusamba Dzonzi, Admarc currently has 4,687 employees but after the restructuring, the organization intends to remain with only 1565 staff members.

He said most of the staff members at Admarc do not deserve to be in their positions, adding that some cannot even write.

The Admarc chairperson said the institution has a wage bill of around K750 million per month when it only makes just about K50 million.

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During the meeting, members of the committee wanted to know why Admarc was sidelined in the Malawi-South Sudan export deal as well as why the institution continues to misfire.

The lawmakers also asked the board whether it would be proper to step aside so as to pave way for investigations into the missing of funds at the grain marketer amounting to over K6 billion.

In his responses, Kusamba Dzonzi described Admarc as a casino for politicians and other big boys in the country, saying there are people who continue to benefit from the current status quo and would not like to see the institution improve.

The Admarc chairperson said currently, the institution is swimming in a debt of around K72 billion which has been growing because of failure to service it.

According to Kusamba Dzonzi, Admarc needs about K400 million to be recapitalised.

He said as things stand, what Admarc is doing is just to work for banks who are the owners of the 132,000 metric tonnes under its custody.

He said the board had put in place plans for the firm to diversify its operations by moving into maize flour production, textile manufacturing, cooking oil production and other services.

He told the committee that the tenure of his board is expected to come to an end on September 22 this year.

Last week, Lowe shut down Admarc, citing high levels of corruption, theft and professional negligence.

Lowe sent all members of staff for the corporation on paid leave and suspended all its activities except for social services.

Lowe said police have been deployed to all Admarc offices to ensure that no employee goes near the corporation’s premises, saying doing that will be considered as trespassing.

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