Maize scandal draws in Transglobe


As investigations into the Zambia maize deal intensify, it has now been revealed that apart from Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), Admarc also contracted a local supplier Transglobe to deliver 50,000 metric tonnes of maize out of the targeted 100,000 tonnes.

Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has throughout the probe maintained that it is only aware of a contract with ZCF to supply the 100,000 metric tonnes of the staple grain from Zambia.

But Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia Julius Shawa and opposition leader of United Progressive Party (UPP) Saviour Chishimba in that country have brought to light evidence that Transglobe which is headquartered in Blantyre was another player in the maize deal.


Chairperson of the joint Malawi Parliament committee probing the deal in Zambia Joseph Chidanti Malunga told Malawi News in an interview on Friday that when Shawa appeared before the committee yesterday he disclosed that his ministry issued two permits for the supply of the 100,000 metric tonnes and both ZCF and Transglobe were allowed to supply 50,000 metric tonnes each.

“We are now confused because this is the first time that we are hearing of this Transglobe Limited. All along we were meant to believe that Admarc had dealings with Kaloswe Limited and ZCF.

“Now we know that the reason why government kept it a secret is because they know there are a lot of shady dealings which have been happening between government and this company,” Malunga said.


Chishimba who also appeared before the committee Friday also highlighted the involvement of Transglobe in the deal.

Said Chishimba in his presentation which he also shared with this paper: “Forensic examination of the contract between Transglobe  and the Ministry of Agriculture, especially that of government of Zambia, has not told us whether it is our Ministry of Agriculture or the Malawi Ministry of Agriculture who partnered with Transglobe Ltd,

“There is no doubt that the forensic experts will notice that this purported contract (between ZCF and Admarc) was recently signed as a cover up for all corrupt practices that have been going on. This is a case of forging a false document to pervert the course of justice.”

Transglobe was not immediately available for comment yesterday but in an earlier interview with Malawi News the company said Admarc’s decision to buy maize from Zambia surprised some local companies who wondered why they were sidelined when they had stocks of maize right here in Malawi.

It also confirmed that ZCF had no maize as the company hunted for suppliers from China, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania among other countries to execute the contract it signed with Admarc for the supply of 100,000 metric tonnes maize.

It said it had so far supplied 1 300 tonnes to Admarc through ZCF.

“Today Malawian traders have maize stuck in Zambia after the ban to export maize from that country. We managed to deliver the 1 300 tonnes because it was under ZCF and we were stopped from supplying more after 31 December last year when the contract expired,” said a Transglobe official two weeks ago.

ZCF admitted last year to Zambian media that it had jumped into the supply of maize deal even when they knew they did not have the maize because the company wanted to raise money to raise money for its operation.

Chishimba also told the committee that the maize deal was private sector driven and not government to government as alleged by officials from both countries. Rather, he said, the name of government was used as a front for officials to share the loot.

“Hon Dr G Chaponda also unequivocally informed that the maize was being procured on a mutual understanding and cooperation of the two countries. He named President Lungu in the whole transaction. In this instance, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the President of Zambia, is a key witness who must help with investigations,” Chishimba said.

Meanwhile, Malunga indicated that his committee will confront suspended minister George chaponda during a meeting scheduled for Wednesday next week as to the reasons government kept Transglobe under wraps

He also said the committee will soon write a letter to Transglobe to summon officials of the company to explain their side of the story.

For the past two months, the purchase of maize from Zambia by Admarc has hogged the limelight in Malawi largely on account of the controversies and intricacies involved.

In response to the food shortage situation in the country which has affected an estimated 6.5 million people, government set out to purchase 100,000 metric tonnes from Zambia. But the purchase is coloured by shady dealings.

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