After this publication revealed that some Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) officials are selling maize to vendors rather than the intended poor Malawians, Police in Mzimba have detained a vehicle which was transporting maize in the district.
The detained vehicle was carrying 350 bags of maize and police suspected that the grain was bought through corrupt practices.
Police publicist for the district Constable Lingstone Kanjautso confirmed the development and said they also arrested about eleven vendors linked to the deal.
He added that investigations were underway as some of the vendors claimed to have bought the maize from locals within the area and not at any Admarc depot.
“Some who claimed to have sold them the maize came and testified to us but as you know, we can’t believe them just now because our investigations are underway,” said Kanjautso.
When our reporter visited the police station, he was told by the detained vendors that they have nothing to do with Admarc maize thus they feel not guilty in any case.
Rhoda Banda, who sells Maize in Nkhatabay said she went to Mzimba upon hearing some reports that most locals there were selling maize at a reasonable price.
“As a vendor, I thought that would mean profit to my business thus I came last week to buy the commodity,” she emphasized.
In addition, she claimed to have bought her maize at a cheaper price from a pastor who was selling his maize at MK4000 per 20kg.
“I bought about 10 bags from the Pastor before I bought other 20 from some boys from down the village,” she added.
Another vendor Mercy Phiri said the police officers are only wasting their time. She further claimed that the vendors are always business minded thus being in custody for police investigations is something they don’t cannot afford.
“They just keep us here without giving us food to eat since they detained our vehicle three days ago,” said Phiri.
“This is torture; we can’t be in custody for something we haven’t done.”