Admarc's board chairperson now its CEO

Felix Jumbe

Felix Jumbe, a farmer and former legislator for Salima Central has been appointed acting CEO of ailing state produce trader Admarc.

He replaces Margaret Roka Mauwa who has been redeployed to the Ministry of Agriculture as controller of agriculture extension and technical services according to a letter signed by the Chief Secretary to the government. Roka Mauwa, the former deputy Minister of Agriculture during the Bingu wa Mutharika adminstration took over the leadership of Admarc from Foster Mulumbe who was fired in 2017.

Mulumbe was fired over his alleged involvement with the Zambia maize procurement deal where procurement procedures were flouted

In an interview, Jumbe who was recently named board chairperson of Admarc confirmed his appointment saying it will be easier for him to strike an understanding with farmers, seeing as he is one of them.

He reckons he has a tough duty to bring in new leadership, recapitalisation and restructuring to ensure that Admarc buys produce from farmers on time and that it is able to provide a steady market. 

Jumbe will act as CEO until one is appointed. Stain Singo a renowned insurer has since taken over as chairperson of ADMARC.

Last week employees of Admarc threatened to stage a nationwide strike if Mauwa and two other top officials were not removed on allegations that the trio was mismanaging resources.

Jumbe graduated from the University of Malawi, The Polytechnic with a Bachelor of Commerce. He also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing from The Chartered Institute of Marketing from UK. He runs a seed company called Peacock Seeds.

As an MCP MP, he headed the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture until the party fired him from the position over his allegiance to the DPP.

He lost his bid to become an MP for Salima North in the May 2019 elections.

The position is therefore seen as largely being politically motivated.

Earlier this year, Admarc borrowed K2.5 billion from the local market for the purchase of maize.

But its markets were shunned for offering the minimum prices set by government considered to be on the lower side at around K125.

Later this year government announced slightly higher prices of K230-K250 but it was arleady too late as traders had arleady bought off the maize and were hoarding it and driving up the prices.