K42 billion maize debt sparks anger

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Government has been condemned following reports that it will repay the loan which Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) took from commercial banks to buy maize last year.

According to reports, ADMARC has offloaded to government the K42 billion loan it got from commercial banks to purchase maize after the corporation failed to sell the maize and recoup the money.

Maize

Kachaje: Malawians are the ones to repay the loan

Reports say that the maize has now been passed on to National Food Reserve (NFRA) for storage and government debt has gone up.

The 2017/18 budget includes K185 billion towards debt servicing.

Commenting on the matter, Chairperson for the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament Rhino Chiphiko said the money should have been used to develop Malawi.

“This is the money we should have used to build more schools, health centres and roads if we were prudent in using the little resources we have, cry my beloved country,” said Chiphiko.

Commenting on the same, economic expert Henry Kachaje wondered how the price of maize came up to MK12,500 per bag when the previous year the price was at MK5,500 and this year it is the same.

“K42bn was blown up to purchase maize no one could afford. As a result, ADMARC was stuck with the maize. One wonders if the deal to procure an extra 100,000 metric tonnes from Zambia had succeeded how much more debt would we have accumulated?” he said.

He further said that the country has harvested enough maize this year and the reserves that ADMARC has now transferred to NRFA is a good development as no one will die of hunger.

“As for the loan burden of K42 billion, well that’s where you and I come in as taxpayers. Let’s work hard to repay this loan,” he said

Kachaje added that Malawians have been paying loans a few individuals took from Malawi Savings Bank and are also repaying another for the purchase of tractors a few people shared as well as paying for a number of loans government has been taking from EXIM bank.

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