AIP exposes Chakwera


The Office of the President and Cabinet has been implicated in the fertilizer procurement scandal in which the Lazarus Chakwera administration flouted procedures and paid K750 million to a butchery for the procurement of fertilizer.

Former Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Sandram Maweru, who was fired over the scandal, revealed yesterday that former Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi was the one who forced Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRM) to procure fertilizer without following procurement procedures.

On Tuesday, SFFRFM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Chikunkhuzeni also told the the joint parliamentary committee investigating the procurement that the K750 million transaction was initiated at Capital Hill.

“The transaction was initiated at Capital Hill, in which K750 million was made to Bakaart Foods Limited as advance payment for the deal since it was a condition that was given,” Chikunkhuzeni said.

In another fertilizer procurement scandal, in February this year, Maweru advised Paramount Holdings to release 10,000 tonnes of NPK fertilizer to SFFRM for AIP.

However, this was done without the company having a contract with the Ministry.

Maweru, the former Principal Secretary, said yesterday that it was Chikhosi who forced the ministry to flout procurement procedures by telling Paramount Holdings to supply 10,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer without a contract.

Writing on Facebook, social commentator Joshua Chisa Mbele has argued that AIP is used by Government officials to steal taxpayers money in huge sums at one go and he believes President Lazarus Chakwera knew about the mess.

“Hon Lowe, [former Agriculture Minister] deliberately messed up the program. I refuse to think, believe & accept that President Chakwera didn’t know what was happening. If he truly didn’t know, then that’s the very good reason he must step aside. He is wasting our time,” said Mbele in a Facebook post.

He added that other corruption scandals such as the looting of Covid funds were also linked to the Office of the President & Cabinet.

“That’s where the rot begins. The planning & organization of looting of Taxpayers money is taking place in that office.

“Zangazanga Chikhosi & Lowe reported to the same person. That person claims ignorance,” said Mbele.

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