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LILONGWE Feb 22 Malawi's President Peter
Mutharika has dismissed the agriculture minister after an
investigation into claims that the country paid too much for a
delivery of maize from Zambia.
Mutharika ordered an investigation last month into the $34.5
million government maize purchase, following which he sacked
George Chaponda, the southern African nation's information
minister said on Wednesday.
Chaponda was not immediately available for comment.
Zambian opposition leader Saviour Chishimba said in December
he had seen documents showing Malawi had been charged $345 per
tonne for the 100,000 tonnes of Zambian white maize that was
worth $215 a tonne. Shortly after the president launched the
Malawi is importing maize to ease food shortages affecting
an estimated 6.7 million people, triggered by a severe drought
that swept the region in 2016.
Some senior Malawi government officials have said the price
was higher because a transport and logistics company had to be
hired to move the maize between the neighbouring countries.
(Reporting by Mabvuto Banda; Writing by James Macharia; editing
by John Stonestreet)