Malawi gets back K600 million paid to butchery

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Malawi has recovered about K600 million which was paid to a United Kingdom based butchery, Barkaat Foods Limited, for fertilizer procurement.

Attorney General (AG), Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, who is currently in Germany has confirmed to the local media saying the funds have already been sent to the Malawi Government through an account belonging to the Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM).

“I can confirm that the money has indeed been transferred and should reflect in the SFFRFM account any day from today,” Chakaka said.

In an email to Nyirenda, a senior public prosecutor in Munich Chief Public Prosecutor’s office Florian Weinzieri said the transfer of 516,975.21 Euros (about K610 million) has been initiated.

Last year, the Ministry of Agriculture engaged UK based company Barkaat Foods Limited to supply fertilizer and paid it USD725,000 (about K750 million) in two installments to two accounts held in two countries.

The payment was made without following proper procedures as officials bypassed Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority as well as the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

After payment of the money, a team from the Ministry of Agriculture traveled to the United Kingdom where the officials realized that government had been duped since Barkaat Foods Limited does not have capacity to supply fertilizer.

Despite clear irregularities in the payment, no government official is yet to be arrested over the procurement scandal.

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