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Anti-Corruption Bureau ‘clears’ Foster Mulumbe

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The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has cleared former Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation(Admarc) chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe of any wrongdoing in the suspicious procurement of maize from Zambia.

ACB spokesperson Egritta Ndala, said in a written response all suspects in the suspicious procurement of the maize were arrested after evidence found them of wrongdoing.

“The Anti-Corruption Bureau concluded its investigation into the procurement of maize from Zambia. The Bureau arrested suspects whom investigations had found evidence of wrongdoing. The case is currently in court for prosecution of the suspects,” Ndala said.

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The bureau recently arrested former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda and one of the directors of Transglobe Rashid Tayub on suspicious dealings on the procurement of maize.

The suspects are accused of suspicious dealings in the procurement of 4,000 metric tonnes out of the 100,000 metric tonnes the government wanted to procure last year due to an impending food crisis.

ACB in a court charge sheet filed against Chaponda and Tayub, Criminal Case Number 932, accused Chaponda of misusing his public office to influence Mulumbe to offer a contact to Transglobe Exports Produce Limited to export maize from Zambia.

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The sheet further accuses Tayub of influencing a public officer to misuse his public office, Contrary to Section 25B (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act.

The suspects deny the charges.

Asked to clarify further on the matter if Mulumbe was cleared and reasons for the clearance, Ndala said the bureau could not comment further on the case “as that may prejudice its processes”.

Media reports in July indicated that Mulumbe, who was fired from his job, still enjoys all his benefits including a monthly salary and company vehicle.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) chief James Chirwa was in the country to press for payment for the 4,000 metric tonnes of maize which was delivered in the country.

Sources say Chirwa threatened to take Admarc to court if the payment was not paid in a specified period.

Admarc spokesperson Agness Chikoko Ndovie played down the issue but refused to comment further asking for a questionnaire.

Mulumbe and former director of operations Feckson Kantonga were investigated following recommendations of two commissions of inquiry—one hired by President Peter Mutharika and the other by Parliament—into the controversial Zambia maize imports.

A report presented by an inquiry chaired by retired chief justice Anastanzia Msosa faulted Admarc for flouting rules and systems, thereby causing the discrepancies.

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