Thursday, February 22, 2024

CDEDI FEARS POLITICS COULD KILL SALIMA SUGAR COMPANY

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Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives-CDEDI suspects that developments unfolding at the Salima Sugar Company Limited-SSCL smack more of politics than institutional governance and have far-reaching consequences on the company’s survival if left unchecked.

It fears this might also scare away both existing and potential investors; warning politicians to take their hands off the company.

CDEDI has made the observation following revelations that High Court froze the company’s bank accounts until it owes Audit Consult K623 million for conducting a forensic audit.

Executive Director for the local governance grouping, Sylvester Namiwa further demands that the company’s executive chairperson Wester Kosamu should make public the scope of audit work justifying a claim of that figure.

In a statement, Namiwa demands Kosamu provides all other related reimbursements including any relevant documentary evidence that validate to validate the K623 million claim.

He has since called on Attorney General Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda to vacate the injunction which he argued has crippled the company’s operations.

“Malawians may wish to know that the initial contract for the audit signed in June 2023 was pegged at K160 million, and was duly paid but by the time the draft audit report was released the cost for producing the audit had ballooned to K250 million.

“In the same vein, Cdedi demands an explanation from SSCL former executive chairperson Shirieesh Betgri on why he accepted liability for an audit that was commissioned by government in exercise of its oversight role,” reads the statement in part.

CDEDI has given concerned parties seven days “to do the needful; or we will be forced to take drastic action in the interest of the common good.”

A month ago, Secretary to President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba ordered deployment of state security at the company’s factory after an interim audit report exposed that payments amounting to K50 billion could not be validated.

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