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People’s Party trashes Admarc inquiry

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The People’s Party (PP) has trashed the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry by President Peter Mutharika describing it as a mere political tactic aimed at giving people false hopes that the President is doing something about the maize scandal.

PP Administrative Secretary who is also National Coordinator for Orange Partners, Joseph Chikwemba, told The Daily Times Wednesday that their party is dissatisfied with the way President Mutharika has reacted to the suspicious procurement of maize by Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) from Zambian private company Kaloswe Courier Limited.

He said the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry is just another waste of taxpayers’ money, and a tactic to delay the investigation process on the matter and silencing the truth of the whole scandal.

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“The state has adequate machinery and state-funded accountability institutions that are mandated by the Act of Parliament to promote transparency and accountability, deal with fraud, corruption, procurement scandals, and criminal matters. The Malawi Fiscal and Fraud Police Unit, the Financial Intelligence Unit, National Audit Office, Anti-Corruption Bureau; and Office of the Director of Public Procurement just to mention a few. Why not free these agents to act on the Admarc scandal?” wondered Chikwemba.

Chikwemba said the Republican Constitution provides that the authority to exercise powers of State is conditional upon sustained trust of the people of Malawi which can only be maintained through open, accountable and transparent government and informed democratic choice.

He further said failure by government to promote transparency and accountability is tantamount to governing without the people’s trust.

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“Principles of National Policy in Section 13 compel the State to introduce measures, which will guarantee accountability, transparency, personal integrity and financial probity. By virtue of their effectiveness and visibility, these strengthen confidence in public institutions.

“The Constitution envisages a situation where these accountability institutions are effective and visible in the discharge of their mandates. However, recent developments including the appointment of Commission of Inquiry have cast doubt on the effectiveness and visibility of these accountability institutions.

Mutharika has come under fire to deal with the purported dubious purchase of maize from Zambia which involved K25 billion.

Civil Society Organisation, Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and other stakeholders have questioned the institution of a Commission of Enquiry to probe the alleged scam when Admarc Chief Executive Officer is still in office.

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