Fighting for maize corruption in PF intensifies

Fighting for maize corruption in PF intensifies

13062461_1146859682031447_4203333394504368581_nAgriculture Minister Given Lubinda has encouraged PF cadre Chilufya Tayali to report him to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for alleged corruption.

Lubinda says he is ready to provide Tayali transport to the ACC offices if indeed he has evidence that he has been corruptly facilitating the sale of FRA maize to private companies for export.

In an interview with QFM by telephone, Lubinda said he believes Tayali’s allegations are politically motivated due to the fact that he has gone to the extent of accusing him of planning to form a new political party.

He said he will study Tayali’s allegations and seek the advice of his advisors on what course of action to take.

A few days ago, Millers Association of Zambia bosses and James Chirwa, the executive director of Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) authored a dossier on corruption in the maize industry, which implicated Lubinda and others.

Chirwa and the millers aligned to PF gave the dossier to malnourished PF cadre Chilufya Tayali to release it to the public and even paid for his space on Hot FM radio on Wednesday.

The documents show that several private companies, with the aid of senior government officials, had been exporting maize, thereby creating mealie-meal shortages in the last few months. According to Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa’s letter to ZRA Commissioner General Berlin Msiska titled ‘SUBMISSION OF SCHEDULE FOR ISSUED EXPORT PERMITS FOR MAIZE GRAIN’, Shawa asked ZRA to facilitate “smooth” clearance for some exports.

“I would be grateful if the Zambia Revenue Authority could facilitate smooth passage of the above listed export volume by the respective exporters,” Shawa wrote. Shawa listed companies that had been issued with export permits as Kankunka Import and Export which had a permit to export 3,000 tonnes of maize, United African Grains 1,110 tonnes, Zdenakie Commodities 750 tonnes. FRA also had a permit to export 150 tonnes of maize and Grandmaster Enterprises 150 tonnes.

But according to the Post newspaper edition of today (Friday), the bickering over the mealie-meal smuggling scam and maize exports have been exposed because some of the individuals involved in the deal have been shortchanged.

“This maize export deal was engineered at State House by President Lungu’s aides and there were cuts for everybody including the company owners involved.

It was simple, maize was quoted at a higher price and bought from FRA at a lower price and then exported to Zimbabwe for example. That little difference in price, say for example US$150 per tonne, when you multiply that by just 3,000 tonnes already gives you US$450,000,” explained the sources. “That is the money that was being shared and remember these were huge consignments of exports, but some people became greedy along the way and started cutting off their friends. So this is a big scam than you are seeing it and a lot of people will go to jail over this.”

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