Malawi disowns Kaloswe in maize export from Zambia 

Thu, 29 Dec 2016 12:31:05 +0000

By Bennie Mundando

AGRICULTURAL Development and Marketing Corpo-ration (ADMARC) of Malawi has now U-turned and de-nied having any business transactions with Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Ltd of Zambia since June as the Malawian government allegedly terminated the export contract in June.

Due to mounting pressure in Malawi over allegations that the two entities were using their connections with those in government to defraud the two countries, AD-MARC chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe last Fri-day held a press briefing in Malawi where he categorical-ly denied having any transaction with Kaloswe since June this year.

Mulumbe said Kaloswe’s contract was terminated by government and that ADMARC signed a new contract with Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) to purchase the 100,000 metric tonnes of maize.

But according to details availed to the Daily Nation, ZCF was part of the maize syndicate as early as May this year and Kaloswe continued with its transactions with AD-MARC as late as October as maize and money continued exchanging hands.

On 31st May, 2016, Kaloswe entered into a contract for the purchase of Zambian white maize with ZCF where ZFC director general signed under seal, for ZCF while Kaloswe CEO Isaac Kapambwe signed under seal, for his company.

Under this agreement, ZCF agreed to reserve 100, 000 metric tonnes of maize at the selling price of US$215 per metric tonne while ADMARC was going to buy the maize from Kaloswe at US$345 per metric tonne.

All transportation of maize to Malawi and other logistical requirements were to be met by Kaloswe and on 17th June, 2016, the two agreements were executed.

The first being between Kaloswe and ADMARC Ltd while the se-cond agreement was an addendum in which the parties mutually agreed that since ZCF was the ultimate source of maize it would be prudent to pay the whole amount of US$34.5 million into their (ZCF) account.

ZCF would in turn deduct US$21.5 million due to it (ZCF) as duly agreed with Kaloswe on 31st May, 2016. The balance was going to be paid to Kaloswe whose legal duty was to transport and handle all logistics in the whole transaction.

Contrary to Mr. Mulumbe’s statement that the contract between the corporation and Kaloswe was terminated in June, on 22nd June, 2016, Kaloswe issued an instruction, in line with the agreement, to ADMARC to process and wire the US$34.5 million into the ZCF account number 0003203000439 at First Capital Bank.

In a letter referenced PTA/TF/ZCF/20160713 dated 13th July 2016, PTA Bank wrote a letter of comfort to ZCF confirming that the Reserve Bank of Malawi had ap-proached PTA to support the transaction involving the importation of 100, 000 metric tonnes of white maize through a programme that the bank extended to the Re-public of Malawi.

PTA Bank further confirmed, in the same letter, that there was an existing arrangement between the AD-MARC and PTA Bank over maize importation financing.

According to documents, on July 26, 2016, PTA Bank wired the funds on behalf of ADMARC and Kaloswe’s Company Secretary, Titus Nyirongo then wrote to AD-MARC to take the letter of credit to ZCF.

“We, Kaloswe Courier Limited, hereby authorise you, ADMARC Limited, to make a letter of credit to ZCF whose account details are stated below,” read the letter in part.

Records show that communication among the three en-tities continued as late as October as  ADMARC director of administration and company secretary, late George Bakuwa, came to Zambia to organise a meeting with of-ficials from ZCF and Kaloswe over the same transaction.

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