The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has hit at leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera over the maizegate scandal saying he wants to use it to incite violent protests.
In a press statement signed by the party’s acting Secretary General Francis Mphepo, DPP says Chakwera together with civil society organisations and the media are spreading lies about the scandal because they are planning violent protests against the current unsubsidised price of maize at the country’s Admarc depots.
“They will easily incite such violence by claiming that the prices are high because of this fabricated maizegate,” said the DPP in its statement.
The party added: “These people think they are tarnishing the image of DPP government and the state president. Unfortunately they are tarnishing the image of their own country.”
Meanwhile the ruling party has commended President Peter Mutharika for setting up a commission of inquiry to investigate Admarc’s purchase of maize from Zambia.
The party said the president did the right thing which was being required to be done by a father of the nation like him.
“We commend the state president for appointing commission of inquiry on the so called Zambia maize saga. We are however most disturbed that the very people who did not want ACB, are also calling the commission useless before they have done any work,” reads part of the statement.
However, critics have been calling for the suspension of Admarc chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe and the firing of Agriculture minister George Chaponda to pave way for investigations into the maizegate issue.
At the moment maize at Admarc depots is selling at a higher price as compared to the price offered by vendors at the local markets.
Admarc told Malawians that it is selling the maize at a higher price because it wants to pay back a loan it got from a bank before purchasing the maize from Zambia.
But later it was revealed that Admarc bought 100,000 tonnes of maize from Zambia through a private company and not directly from the Zambian government leading to higher costs and consequently high maize prices.
It is believed that some officials benefited from the use of the middleman since Admarc bought the maize at K26 billion from the Zambian company yet it would have bought the maize directly from the Zambian government for K15 billion.