The maize imported from Tanzania by the government of Zimbabwe recently was bought at double the world market price raising suspicions of massive corruption in the deal, a report claims.
17 000 tonnes were bought at a price of US$600 a tonne while the world price is currently $240 a tonne. The report further reveals:
… the grain was brought in from Tanzania – Mnangagwa and President John Magufuli are allies – at a price of US$600 a tonne; the world price is currently $240 a tonne. An expert in the regional commodity trade said the only explanation for the inflated price of the consignment is a ‘vast corrupt rake-off’. Now the keys question are, says the expert, who knew about the deal and who benefited from it.
Senior officials in international organisations have confirmed the pricing of the deal and say it helps explain the slow response to the United Nations’ call for emergency funding to alleviate Zimbabwe’s food shortfall.
Zimbabwe needs 800 000 tonnes of maize to avert hunger, with more than half of the country’s 16.5 million people food insecure.
The food shortages have been blamed on a severe drought during the 2018/19 summer season, but this is despite the fact that billions of United States dollars were spent on the government-controlled Soviet-style “Command Farming” programme.
More: Africa Confidential
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