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Members of Parliament to summon PTA Bank officials

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As the saga regarding the maize which government through Admarc procured from Zambia continues to snowball, the joint committee of Parliament of Agriculture and Public Accounts has said it will summon representatives from the PTA Bank to get information on bank transactions that have been made so far.

While documents on what appears to be wiring of funds from the bank to Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) have been made public by different entities, the Malawi Government maintains that no amount has been paid to anyone so far.

Following the controversy, the joint committee of the two Parliament entities has said it will be enquiring from the bank the transactions that have been made so far and where the money has been paid to, if any.

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Co-chairperson of the joint committee, Joseph Chidanti Malunga, who is also Chairperson of the Agriculture Committee of Parliament, said the lawmakers will be probing the evidence of Letters of Credit that might have been issued.

He said this when members of the civil society, led by Chairperson of the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), Robert Mkwezalamba, appeared before the joint committee to provide information that they have regarding the maize saga.

“As we go along, we will be probing the evidence of the Letters of Credit that have been issued, if any. We intend to invite representatives of PTA Bank in Malawi so that they can provide their side of the story and see whether money really exchanged hands or whether money was wired to Zambia.

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“So that information will be coming out as we get deeper into the investigations because it is crucial to getting to the bottom of the matter,” said Malunga.

He also disclosed that apart from Minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda and Admarc Chief Executive Officer, Foster Mulumbe, the joint committee has also summoned officials from the Ministry of Finance, the Directorate of Public Procurement and Malawi Revenue Authority, among others.

In an interview after the meeting with the parliamentarians, Mkwezalamba said the civil society is confident that they have submitted adequate information which will help the lawmakers in getting to the bottom of the matter.

“We did share the bank account where the transaction was made, the times the money was wired; obviously if they go to Zambia and do the, interrogations and check with the bank, it can indicate where the money was coming from,” said Mkwezalamba.

Asked whether the MPs would be going to Zambia following the request by the civil society, Malunga said there is a possibility as long as time and resources allow.

Meanwhile, the joint committee is today expected to continue meeting different other stakeholders on the issue.

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