Bombshell: Admarc paid K40m insurance for none-runner and personal vehicles
Peter Simbani, Comptroller of Statutory Corporations, reported that over K21 million was paid in personal vehicle insurance from June 2020 to July 2022, and about K19 million for no-runners.
Malawi: Peter Simbani, Comptroller of Statutory Corporations, told the joint committee on Wednesday that Agriculture Development Marketing Corporation (Admarc) was paying insurance for vehicles that did not belong to the company and some that were grounded.
He reported that over K21 million was paid in personal vehicle insurance from June 2020 to July 2022, and about K19 million for no-runners.
The Comptroller of Statutory Corporations stated that Ocean Car Hire, which allegedly belongs to one of the Admarc employees, had its fleet of cars insured by the state company.
Simba also said that one of the biggest corruption scandals at the statutory company involved the abuse of the medical scheme, in which Admarc paid for medical coverage for friends and relatives of officials who were not entitled.
He claimed that the fraudulent behaviour at Admarc was deeply ingrained and spread throughout the grain institution's staff, from senior to junior.
Simba also stated that aside from staff and management at institutions, statutory companies have become cash cows for politicians, making exposing and combating corruption both futile and harmful.
He said: "Fighting corruption at Admarc and in some other state companies is quite dangerous. in my case I have a lady who wanted to work and had an attempt to expose the rot at the Admarc. The lady was intimidated both by junior and senior members of the Admarc whom we believe were benefiting from the illegal transaction and she resigned this has been the case with many others who have tried so, not just at Admarc but even in other statutory companies.”
The majority of committee members praised the comptroller for his enthusiasm and his comprehensive report, which is a forensic audit report for the period June 2020 to July 2021.
However, Simbani later charged Agriculture Committee Chairperson Sameer Suleiman with failing his duty after admitting he is not in control of most activities in parastatals under his supervision due to political influence.
The comptroller, who was visibly charged, challenged him not to resign, saying he is on top of his job and that a lot has changed under his leadership in several state companies, and refused to take any further questions from members.
Gladys Ganda, the committee's co-chairperson, had to intervene to calm him down.
Donbell Mandala, Chief Executive Officer of Nico General Insurance, testified before the same committee, admitting to dealing in insurance with Admarc but denying knowledge of his company insuring dead cars at the institution, some of which were personal vehicles.
He did, however, tell the committee that Nico is willing to refund the money received unknowingly from Admarc for the purpose of defrauding the government through insurance with Nico.
He admitted to lapses in his company's due diligence and has since stated that he will tighten systems to ensure that property insured by government institutions is meticulously checked.
The joint committee's investigation into Admarc fraud in relation to misprocurement involving approximately k750 million of Affordable Input Program funds continues.
Former Agriculture Minister Robin Lowe has ordered all Admarc employees to resign due to allegations of corruption.
He also claimed that the closure was the result of a government assessment that concluded the institution was not achieving the results outlined in its mandate.
The minister also revealed that Admarc has 4 063 employees versus a requirement of 1 500, implying that some may be laid off.
However, when questioned by the committee, Simba denied being a part of the suspension.
He said that he was not consulted and that he is unaware whether procedures in accordance with the state company act were followed.