The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has been exposed for lacking basic corporate governance procedures after the parastatal admitted to disposing a consignment of 60 000 metric tonnes of maize imported from Mexico to stockfeed producers cherry picked by the company.
The maize, according to the Acting General Manager of the parastatal Mr Lawrence Jasi, was deemed unfit for human consumption.
Hamlet, one of William Shakespeare’s characters, once remarked that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.
It did not take long before the rot was exposed.
The script played out when the GMB management showed serious deficiencies in corporate governance matters when they appeared before the Justice Mayor Wadyajena chaired Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.
The tell-tell signs were evident when it was revealed that the corporate secretary Mr Rodney Mzyece only signed minutes of a crucial meeting held in 2012 on 11 April 2018, six years later.
Even then, he only signed extracts on resolutions of the meeting.
He was ordered out of the Parliament to collect the full minutes.
For the GMB Acting General Manager, there was no need to advertise since they know a lot of stockfeed producers whom they had told.
Despite the contentious nature of the sell, and the price structure being approved by his ministry, Permanent Secretary Ringson Chitsiko insisted he was in the dark about the consignment.
Some parastatals have been identified as the missing link in achieving targets set in economic blue prints such as the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.
While other loss making state enterprises can be privatised, GMB is a strategic unit that needs to be run professionally under the care of government.