Firing of Zambia Food Agency Board May Damage Corn Buying

By Antony Mukwita (Bloomber)

Zambia’s President Michael Sata’s decision to fire the chief executive officer of the Food Reserve Agency and disband its board will affect corn purchases, said Lazarus Mawele, the agency’s fired deputy chief executive officer.

“Clearly there will be an impact on the purchase of maize lying around the country uncollected right now,” Mawele said by phone today from Lusaka, the capital. “I think things might be made worse by the fact that the rainy season has now started and the maize risks rotting.”

Mawele, who was in charge of purchasing the 3 million metric tons of corn harvested this year, said the agency had bought about 1.5 million tons of corn before the management and board were fired. Corn is known in Zambia as maize.

Sata has fired several officials since he beat incumbent President Rupiah Banda in an election last month, including the head of the anti-corruption agency and revenue authority’s board in a campaign against corruption. He also removed Caleb Fundanga as central bank governor.

The food agency’s new managers will struggle to organize the logistics to collect the corn, Mawele said.

Share this post