Government has revealed that the FRA, Food Reserve Agency in Eastern Province duplicated payments worth over 1.5 billion Kwacha last marketing season.
And Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Mwamba has demanded for an explanation from FRA in Eastern Province why payments worth over 1.5 billion were duplicated.
In a letter dated 28th December 2012 and written to the FRA Provincial Coordinator, Mr. Mwamba has disclosed that Government has likely lost over 630 million Kwacha as these payments could not be reversed as the money were already withdrawn.
Mr. Mwamba has explained that a satisfactory explanation should be provided as he was likely to treat the matter as a clear case of fraud since government had lost colossal sums of money.
He has stated that records available to him showed that one billion five hundred and thirty-four million and sixty-five thousand Kwacha was duplicated during the last marketing season.
He has stated that although FRA instituted recovery measures, he is concerned that over 630 million Kwacha remained unaccounted for as farmers had withdrawn these duplicated payments.
He has expressed concern that although records showed that all farmers were paid, Eastern Province had some districts such as Nyimba whose farmers were still not paid and the recovery of the 630 million could help pay off the outstanding debt.
He has also expressed further concern that government is spending huge sums of money on the maize marketing program but fraud activities were still occurring in the system.
The permanent secretary has stated that it is also imperative that all the maize purchased was kept in proper storage facilities.
FRA in Eastern Province bought 3.8 million by 50 kilogramme bags of Maize worth over 248 billion Kwacha.
And Mr. Mwamba has disclosed that recently FRA terminated the contract of Provincial Marketing Coordinator Mr. Godfrey Munyoro.