LILONGWE (Reuters) - Malawi's President Peter Mutharika has dismissed the agriculture minister after an investigation into claims that the country paid too much for a delivery of maize from Zambia.
Mutharika ordered an investigation last month into the $34.5 million government maize purchase, following which he sacked George Chaponda, the southern African nation's information minister said on Wednesday.
Chaponda was not immediately available for comment.
- Labrador retriever fetches top U.S. dog breed honor for record 28th year7 Pictures
- Oscars 2019: Red carpet looks and full list of winners36 Pictures
Zambian opposition leader Saviour Chishimba said in December he had seen documents showing Malawi had been charged $345 per tonne for the 100,000 tonnes of Zambian white maize that was worth $215 a tonne. Shortly after the president launched the probe.
Malawi is importing maize to ease food shortages affecting an estimated 6.7 million people, triggered by a severe drought that swept the region in 2016.
Some senior Malawi government officials have said the price was higher because a transport and logistics company had to be hired to move the maize between the neighboring countries.
(Reporting by Mabvuto Banda; Writing by James Macharia; editing by John Stonestreet)