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Greenbelt, Admarc officials face criminal probe

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Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has written the Malawi Police Services (MPS) to institute criminal proceedings against Admarc and Greenbelt Authority (GBA) officials over alleged fraudulent procurements and payments.

In a letter addressed to Inspector General of Police Merlyne Yolamu dated December 2, 2022, DPP says the suspected amounts involved are in billions of kwacha.

The letter is signed by DPP Steven Kayuni who is now suspended following the arrest of Director General of the Anti- Corruption Bureau, Martha Chizuma.

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Kayuni said in the letter the alleged fraudulent operations led to Admarc’s underperformance.

An audit investigation that was undertaken uncovered fraudulent procurements of plant, property and equipment; abuse of cashed cheques and fraudulent cheques without related paperwork.

In the letter, Kayuni has instructed the police to go after civil servants and private individuals involved while proposing to ring them with eight charges.

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“We have looked at the law, considered the acts as articulated, there is need to follow up on the public trust issues raised and the directorate is of the opinion that criminal investigations be instituted against the allegations herein.

“Further to this, possible charges for the said civil servants, private individuals masquerading as public servants on payroll, suppliers, managers and directors concerned would include and not limited to fraud other than false pretences, criminal negligence by public officials, money laundering, offences pursuant to the Public Finance Management Act, theft; abuse of office, conspiracy to defraud, fraudulent false accounting by fraud other than false pretences” further reads the letter.

National Police spokesperson Peter Kalaya confirmed receipt of the DPP letter.

“In fact, we have already started the investigations. They are being done by our fiscal police,” said Kalaya.

In April this year, an audit report revealed that Admarc entered into an agreement with the Nchalo Green Belt Limited (NGBL) to produce 4,700 metric tons of cotton seed but it was found that the contract did not have the approval from the board.

Under the contract, NGBL was responsible for provision of land and farmers while Admarc was responsible for pre-financing the acquisition of farm inputs and other operational costs on a recovery basis.

The audit report said by December 2020, Admarc, using a loan facility obtained from the Expert Development Fund had pre-financed a total of K2.5 billion to NGBL which had delivered seed cotton valued at K92 million only.

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