State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has admitted malpractices in its markets perpetrated by its officials and committee members assigned to monitor grain sales.
In the wake of the developments, Admarc has suspended about 10 people following investigations carried out since the markets opened, Admarc acting chief executive officer Margaret Roka Mauwa told a news conference in Lilongwe yesterday.
She said among the malpractices were reports that officials at Admarc markets were only buying a maximum 10 bags per farmer and that some market officials were conniving with private traders not to buy maize from smallholder farmers.
In other markets, Mauwa said, farmers complained that there was no buying of grain because of funding constraints.
She said: “It is true and 10 officers have already been suspended and others are yet to come for hearing. Whosoever will go against government procedures that have been put in place for the purchase of maize will not be spared, because, in a way, they want to sabotage government.”
Mauwa said so far the market committees involved in the malpractices have been asked to disband while the unit market officers were asked to commit themselves to Admarc that they will not indulge in the malpractices in a meeting held last week.
Failure to comply will result in disbanding of the committees, she said.
Government has since released K11 billion for the purchase of maize by Admarc and so far K6 billion has been used.
Admarc is expected to buy 44 000 metric tonnes of maize to be purchased through its 300 operational markets around the country. n