Parliament committee wants probe on fired NFRA officers
By Isaac Salima:
The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture has called for further probe on officers involved in the missing of 13 trucks of maize last year.
National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) has formally announced the firing of its Chief Executive Officer Brenda Kayongo and Kanengo Depot Manager Symon Banda for their alleged involvement in the matter.
This follows recommendations by a committee that was instituted to investigate the issue.
However, Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture chairperson Sameer Suleiman has insisted that the officers should answer criminal charges.
“We would like NFRA to come out clear on this issue and give us reasons why these officers have been fired. Issues that happened at NFRA are criminal in nature and do not only require firing somebody.
“We would like to know what happened, what led to the firing and if there were any criminal dealings, the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the police should come in so that these people should be brought to book,” Suleiman said.
NFRA Board Chairperson Denis Kalekeni said the agency was dealing with issues related to contracts and employment and there are guidelines which they are supposed to follow.
“It must also be noted that police are doing their investigations on how the maize got lost. But on our part, we have also issued strong warnings to members of an Internal Procurement Committee for their negligence on the same,” Kalekeni said.
In October last year, reports emerged at that 13 trucks in NFRA’s custody, carrying maize worth K112.5 million which was being transferred from the Northern Region to Lilongwe, had gone missing.
The agency’s board then suspended Kayongo and Banda while police arrested transporter Smollet Kachere of Kachere Agriculture Trading.
One of the missing trucks was found in Kasungu, a development that led to the recovery of about 600 bags and the arrest of 15 people in connection to the case.
The case is currently in court.