ACB Records 43 AIP Fraud Cases in 2023/24 Farming Season
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) says it received 43 corruption related cases under the 2023/2024 Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).
The ACB Public Relations Manager Egrita Ndala said that of the figures, the bureau managed to address 14 cases and arrested four suspects currently in court.
Ndala admitted that this farming year, the bureau has not done enough to address AIP corruption related cases.
She attributed the development to lack of cooperation by some whistle blowers to help the bureau and also inadequate funding to swiftly intervene on corruption reports.
Ndala indicated: "Let me say first that the resource constraints choked our swift interventions to stamp out corruption in the program this year."
Meanwhile, Centre for Social Accountability (CSAT) executive director Willy Kambwandira said the development does not give confidence in the fight against AIP fraud and corruption.
"There is a need for speed in prosecution of these cases as this does not give confidence to fight fraud and extortion in the AIP program," he said.
This year, each of the selected 1.5 million smallholder farmers contributed K15, 000 for a 50-kilogram bag of fertilizer in the program while other 9,750 beneficiaries paid the same amount to redeem goats.
However, there were widespread reports that some sales clerks were selling the inputs to vendors apart from conniving with chiefs to demand a minimum top up of K5000 on the approved K15, 000 for a bag of fertilizer.
Meanwhile, Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) spokesperson Grace Thipa says they are now finalizing input distribution and will give an overview of the programme once concluded.