Chaponda refuses to resign, says ‘Why is Finance Minister Gondwe not mentioned’: Calls Malawi maizegate a ‘North-South antagonism’, activist are northerners

Embattled Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water development, George Chaponda on Monday came out fighting by scoffing at calls for his resignation after being faulted for his involvement with TransGlobe Limited in the maize purchase from Zambia, which the inquiry found it smacked corruption.

Chaponda: I will not resign, why only me and not Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry headed by former Chief Justice Anastasia Msosa presented its report to President Peter Mutharika on Saturday at Kamuzu Palace. The report, among others, faults Chaponda’s involvement in the deal, saying it was suspicious; hence he must be probed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Since the release of the report, there have been calls that Chaponda should resign and that President Mutharika should take prompt action against the minister and management of State produce trader Admarc who are alleged to be corrupt.

But Chaponda has struck a defiance tone, saying he is not resigning.

“I was not involved in the nitty gritty of procurement,” Chaponda said, insisting there was no wrong doing on his part.

“My job was not to follow procedures that was Admarc’s job. They have Internal Procurement Committee. Mine was at policy level,” he added.

Chaponda was speaking on Capital Radio’s DayBreak Malawi program monitored by Nyasa Times Monday morning.

Asked if he is going to respond to calls by civil society organisations (CSOs) to resign, Chaponda flatly rejected.

“It is irregular, irregular because it is the first time in the whole world that you can have CSOs coming up to say you stay aside,” said Chaponda.

He said Ministerial posts are presidential prerogatives and that only President Mutharika has the powers to hire and fire.

“CSOs don’t have that power. I found that irregular,” said Chaponda.

Chaponda maintained that he will not step aside, saying the matter is beyond maizegate scandal.

“It’s personal vendetta. It has now seized to be a maize saga it is now personal,” claimed Chaponda.

He claims the matter is now a fight between southern region and northern region.

“It has now become a north-south antagonism,” he said.

Chaponda said though he is being faulted, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe was equally at fault but that he is being shielded because he comes from the north.

“Why that Minister of Finance is is not being mentioned. The CSOs are from north,” ranted Chaponda.

But speaking on the same Daybreak Malawi program, political analyst Humphrey Mvula queried Chaponda’s remarks.

“It is strange that the minister has said that. Chaponda should have kept quiet,” said Mvula.

“It shows impudence and arrogance. He is an appointed person,” he added.

Mvula said Chaponda is “creating collateral damage” by dragging Finance Minister Gondwe in the saga.

On Sunday,  South Africa-based legal expert Danwood  Chirwa called for Chaponda and Admarc officials to be fired if they fail to resign.

“ These findings are a serious indictment of the minister, affected Admarc officials, and arguably the government as a whole. The report also confirms the public’s suspicion of possible  corruption on the part of the minister as regards how he carried out his duties.

“The most responsible thing to do is for the minister and all Admarc officials impugned in the report to resign. If they do not, they must be fired immediately,” said Chirwa in quotes reported by Nation on Sunday.

He said the President  should not maintain someone whose moral turpitude has been called into question.

Chirwa asked the President to uphold the Constitution and “demonstrate that he cares about the rule of law by dismissing the minister without delay and allowing the crime fighting agencies to do their work freely.”

The Commission found that “the conduct of the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development in dealing with Trans Globe Limited to sell maize to ADMARC was suspicious”.

The Commission in its recommendations called for further investigation on Chaponda by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on his involvement with Trans Globe Limited and that disciplinary action be taken on ADMARC management for contracts “fraudulently entered into”.

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huhiphethere
Guest

Some northerners want to hide the war tactic and yet it is now a fact that there is a war which north started long time ago against southerners. To my disappointment some southerners are still blind and deep in slumber and they dont see the devilish acts of northerners. Manganya is one blind baboon who betrays fellow southerners not knowing that he or his children shall need the support and protection of us southerners in many ways sooner than later. The war is real tisanamizane apa.

Zuze
Guest

Viva Chaponda!! Honestly I love Chaponda about his honesty about his view about the North. This is the true position of DPP about the North and the Central. Do you recall what APM said about Chimunthu Banada when he was a Minister? This is DPP stand. Chaponda is just an honest man. In Malawi we hate honest people. Did you want him to say he loves the North when he doesnt?

mwanapwa wa mwanapwa
Guest

Chaponda Chimanga reveals Goodall Gondwe. Goodall Gondwe reveals ……game over.

Why are these old machonas clinging to power. In other civilized countries people just resign on their own and such people gain respect.

Chaponda Chimanga church Elder you are degrading yourself. Infact by clinging to the position it implies you indeed are involved. If your hands were clean you would have resigned to pave way for investigations and people would have respected you.

Eeee mwatotaninje alopwana. Hamuchita resign nga chifukwa nga chani eeeh asaaaaa. Mutotichitisadje manyazi asaaaa.

Christopher
Guest

It not abt ku mpoto and Qouth its a national issue 2geza we can devlop our country nt what the hon chaponda z sayng.

The Partriot
Guest
Chaponda and his regionalism card! At 74 years of age and several degrees this guy never sees facts but tribes and regions! Ngati munthu wophunzira akuganiza chonchi nanga Santana aganiza bwanji? Smell the coffee old man Chaponda: 1. Transglobe yakupakani matope……kuli aTumbuka kumeneko? 2. One George Chaponda is not the “South” and while the CSOs who got the injuction were from the North….they are not “the North”. Answer for yourself old man..did you steal or not? Dont smear the North with your crap! 3. Chaponda cannot be a good national leader…he is too fixated with tribal politics!! In 1994, Chakufwa… Read more »
shame
Guest

Didn’t realize how retarded Chaponda is . He is behaving like a 2 year old who has been found with his hand in a cookie jar, Mommy sindinadye ndekha koma nana wadyanawo

Beast of Beast
Guest
Daily Times is from the centre. The Kamuzu family comes from Kasungu. Zodiak of Gospel Kazako comes form lower Shire., the most southern tip of Malawi. Why does Chaponda want to divert Malawians to believe believe this is a North South tag of war? Where is Zodiak? Where is Times Group? Are Malawians this foolish that we we wont see the divide and rule? I for one come from central region, grew up in central region, educated both in North and Southern region then married in Southern region with kids from the South. Dont fool me Chaponda! The case is… Read more »
Mwayi wa zama
Guest
Silly minister, your comments are not worthy a minister. Our souls are searching for reasons why Mutharika is not firing you. Reliable sources say that you funded his DPP compaign and now you want to get your money back through stealing from the government. That’s very dangerous because you will be arrested soon. As you can see, there is a strong indication that you have been involved in corrupt practice in the maize deal and that’s very clear you did. The problem is you want to too much enough for you, your children and your grant children. This is a… Read more »
vavlov
Guest

It is cheap to go tribal when things go wrong. Chaponda should simply convince the general public about his innocence on the maize-gate issue. If Gondwe was involved, let him simply tell everyone how Gondwe was involved. After all they belong to the same party. In Malawi tribalism is one of the causes of under-development. Should we say the northern region is not being developed because the president is from the south?

Mweene
Guest

Now, we are going to start firing people on the basis of suspicions? Not facts or proof?
This is like taking away someone’s drivers’ licence on suspicion that she/he is drunk; without evidence from a breathalyzer.
Think about that, people!

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