From ‘Ziphwisi’ law, trust Malawi Minister Chaponda to say ridiculous things

Once upon a time, there was a Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs called George Chaponda who, in his questionable wisdom, decided that of all things to legislate against, Malawi had to criminalise breaking the wind in public, crudely called puffing.



At that time, during the first Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime under Bingu wa Mutharika, the country was in an economic crisis: foreign currency shortages were so acute that businesses could not import anything in time.

The country had no fuel, with people sleeping on queues everyday at service stations waiting for fuel that rarely came.

People were dying in hospitals because there were no drugs. The laughable zero-aid budget was such a catastrophic failure that the DPP administration decided to embellish revenue figures in a desperate attempt to show that it was working. Economic growth, once one of the highest in the world, had retreated, throwing more people into the ultra poverty line and hitting enterprises hard.

Most donors—disgusted with Bingu’s arrogance, poor economic and political governance record, walked away with their money, which finances 40 percent of Malawi’s national budget.

Meanwhile, thieves were plundering the State Treasury in what is now known as Cashgate in which at least K577 billion in the five years leading up to 2014 was pilfered.

During that whole time of crisis, Chaponda and his then boss Bingu found it pressing that those who cannot press certain parts of their anatomy to avoid releasing some unpleasant gases—silently or quietly—should be jailed.

Chaponda even went on radio to defend his soiled proposed legislation that even his own Solicitor General at the time, Anthony Kamanga, told him to blow it away himself and refused to have anything to do with it.

The whole world was laughing—even American comedy show Saturday Night Live found folder for its production.

One of the poorest countries in the world was expending its energies on trying to bring to book folks with loose sphincter muscles!

This is the fellow who, now as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, is shameless enough to tell my colleague Rex Chikoko that questioning suspicious spending of taxpayers’ money is too mundane to warrant a journalist’s time.

Said Chaponda of the breaking wind fame when Rex asked him to explain some names, including party sycophants, who were on the Malawi delegation to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States of America (USA): “As a Malawian journalist, you are wasting your time and energy on petty issues. I invite you to focus on Cashgate where your services could best be utilised to retrieve the money which was stolen or bring back people in hiding abroad.”

At a time the whole State machinery was in damage control over the UN trip expenses fallout, this is what APM’s chief diplomat vomits around New York?

With such gross ignorance of the role of the media, is there any wonder that this administration moves from one public relations disaster to the next with no coherent strategy for protecting the APM brand and projecting a better image than is currently the case?

Chaponda’s ignorance appears not to know boundaries. It looks like he has no idea who should be apprehending Cashgate thieves. He thinks it is journalists.

In the first place, it is not the duty of the journalist “to retrieve the money which was stolen or bring back people in hiding abroad”.

Chaponda is supposed to be a legal scholar who should know the State organs that should do exactly what he is suggesting Rex does. As journalists, we did our jobs exposing Cashgate and suspected culprits and we will continue to do so.

Telling us to go after suspects wherever they maybe holed up could only mean one thing: the Peter Mutharika administration has failed to deal with Cashgate and, in its desperation, is trying to solicit help in all the wrong places, including newsrooms.

Now, is that the message the President wants his chief diplomat to project to the international community from where Chaponda was speaking?

Worse, in trivialising legitimate questions that voters are asking about the use of their taxes, is Chaponda communicating that the administration does not take issues of austerity seriously or this regime just doesn’t care?

Does it mean that the poor soul gasping for breath, say at a Thyolo hospital, has no right to question why so many people are going to New York where they have drawn government allowances and got tax-payer funded air tickets when he cannot even get Aspirin at the health centre?

Coming two days after the President literally begged donors to help government feed 2.8 million starving Malawians; does Chaponda’s old fashioned arrogance and insensitivity help matters here?

Isn’t he ‘puffing’ all over the President’s begging bowl? Would donors be happy to put their food in the bowl that Chaponda has soiled with careless words loosened out without investing any form of a thought process?

And, most importantly, will Chaponda be allowed to get away with this arrogance? I mean, this fellow has just given Malawians the middle finger for trying to hold their government accountable!

  • The article appeared in the ‘Cut-the-Chaff’ column in Weekend Nation newspaper under headline ‘Trust Malawi Minister Chaponda to say ridiculous things’
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45 thoughts on “From ‘Ziphwisi’ law, trust Malawi Minister Chaponda to say ridiculous things”

  1. Alungwana says:

    As citizens of Malawi, we are supposed to know how our taxes are being spent. It is therefore unfair for George Chaponda to tell the journalist that he was wasting time.

  2. Makhuwira says:

    Dr Chaponda amaoneka ngati sa samba kapena ku samba mankhwala

  3. Kashot bernat says:

    Don’t worry malawians God sees beyond the sea angatizuze bwanji koma one day is one day adzazisiya basi ngati m`bale wake uja

  4. Thako la njoka says:

    He realy fatted here,had he known how tough life of a malawian thobwa seller is,he wouldnt spoke it.
    Mbuzi za anthu mukafika 2019 muli ndi mwayi.

  5. Mfumu yachewa kumphoto says:

    Koseko ndkulephera

  6. Dr Chaponda says:

    Musadandaule achimwene, ineyo ndamene ndalakwitsa, zonse adziwa n’mulungu. Munditumizire account number yanu, ndugawireniko kangachepe.

  7. Douglas Ndindi says:

    Enanu mwati dzana lanu ndinu a Matako a Pusi? Ndiye mwati tidzipatsana ulemu? Lanulo ndi dzana la munthu woti angalangize anthu kuti tidzipatsana ulemu? Ingokhalani chete.

  8. Dr Chaponda says:

    Zonse zomwe mwanena ndamva, vuto si ine ayi koma nkhope yangayi.

    1. Dr Chaponda says:

      Muzingovutika ine ndikudya ndalama zanu m’bomamu. Kukhala minister simaseweratu, kuteroko umphawi ndi omwe ukukubwebwetetsani. Ine ndiye wakubayo. Kodi nkhope yangayi siimakuopsani? Dikirani kaye, ndimayenda nditatsinzinatu ine?

  9. che Mbela says:

    Dziko lotembeleredwa lino. Kumangosankha atsogoleri opanda chidwi ndi mabvuto a dziko lomwe akulamula.

  10. Truly, the minister should appreciate that playing the smart card guy will not bring back donors.

  11. Savala Visanza says:

    I can’t believe this is coming from a law scholar with PHD. Shame!!!

  12. matako a pusi says:

    Koma abale ulemu ndiofunika the minister walakwitsa koma tisachite kumunyoza chonchi. From the title and the whole passage sitinapange bwino ulemu ndiofunika we would have done better being a jono does note mean to be rude let’s critisize mwaulemu

  13. Dr Kaunde says:

    Koma tsono kuchi nkhopeko? Kunyasa ngati mapond aku sewage! Now the fatting master is a chief globetrotter? Ku ma meeting a UN kungosanduka ngati ku mulhakho wa alhomwe. Alhomwe ndinu odzikonda f……..k your stinking vulvas and nyeroz

  14. peeping lizard says:

    malawiano mbala zokhazokha,bwanji muluzi mlandu wake ukupitilira,koma petulo ndi malemu kuli ziiii, JB oro kumuyamba,tingoitana ,boko haram,basi.mbala atsogoleri .my num 0787953612.

  15. hisbolla says:

    This is ur prblms u journalists from the south. Now, this failed govt is biting u hard n u want sympathy from north n central.
    Now, u will be paying fees at UR UNIVERSITIES while we northerners are already used to paying at private ones. Only ur children were/are selected to thiz cools. Now ur in SHIT, u want support, munya.
    In short, Chaponda walakwa lero iwe Rex??

  16. mtima wa nyani says:

    taconeni ngati cule ngati catseka maso. mfiti ya munthu nde paja siifwenta- titi kuphwisa

  17. Malawi says:

    Chaponda m’balewake anali okupha athu uyu ndichifukwacha salabada za athu amene akufa muzipatalawo mfiti ya kwa chonde imeneyi ndimayiziwa bwino kuyipa kwake

  18. tiatumbuka says:

    Cashgate started with kamuzu banda. Chiwengo family, kandodo stores, kamuzu academy, press companies, Blantyre print, kasungu town buildings, numerous estates, etc etc all these were put in place using our taxes but it was only kamuzu’s family and relations who owned and were benefitting from these. So, cashgate investigations must start from the time of the thief and chief killer kamuzu banda.

  19. nobel says:

    As if this is not enough he even said DPP would win the may 20 elections without people from the north. U know that case so Chaponda is indeed another Peter Muntharika, failure

  20. Sukulu imango chosa umbuli koma ucisiru suchoka ndaonera Chaponda

  21. What says:

    Blessed Banda don’t you know that out of the MK577b JB stole MK350b in a year?

  22. Mac nyominyomi says:

    Chaponda ndi mwanambwa

  23. Anthu amaona ngati kaliyati ndie wa mwano ku DPP koma amalakwitsa George Monster Ziphwisi Chaponda ndie wamwano,tsankho komanso nkhanza,kumaunduna onse omwe wakhala ife amene timamudziwafe tilibe naye mau. Ndikufuna ndiwauze a Malawi kuti alomwe. Ife tiripo mitundu ingapo ulipo ntundu wina wa alomwe wachifundo woganizla anzawo. Ndie pali ntundu wa alomwe wa Chaponda eeeeeeeee afiti okha okha osanva za anthu odzitenga kukhala ofunika kuposa wina aliyense olo nkhope zawo zimaoneka.

  24. phwiphwi says:

    Chaponda ndigalu wa munthu basi iye sakuona cholakwika apa

  25. mwaziputa nokha achaponda,,,,,inu zoona mukufuna kumalimbanaso ndi atolankhani pomwe mwabisala pamasmba aaaaaaaa moya apa nde mwailakwisa ndiposo mukutitukwanisa alomwe enafe osalakwa

  26. Medrian Kaunda says:

    It is very difficult for my European boyfriend to comment on this article. Obviously, his first reaction would be to call the minister in question for stupid. Plain and simple. But expatriates are not allowed to call locals for stupid, that is so colonialist, and after all, black Malawians do have some pride, no? So what then to call this absolute enemy of the public?
    There is only one approach, and that is called 20-21 July, it must be taken to the streets.

  27. chatonda says:

    Chaponda wakwera pa nsana pa njobvu and he will one day see the due(mame) He is a very cruel man the whole DPP cabinet and believe ypou me Jb will be arrested because of her cashgate issues yes but more importantly because of Chaponda’s black heart or red may be. He is worse than Satan that people have read about in the bible.
    He will defend even that that there is no hunger in Malawi when the president is asking for relief food. Chaponda is the only person in the world who has seeen Chiphwis otherwise hwo can one prove beyong reasonable doubt that someone has puffed? Stupid minister and you tell me he is a lawyer? My foot, of what? Lawyer wachiphwisi I hope.

  28. Jem'apelle ahisou, j'habit potopoto says:

    This viphwisi law guy must be the first to understand that the 100 plus entourage to the UNGA with majority of them irrelevant to the mission purpose yet drawing from tax payers money is another obvious cashgate scandal worth investigating. Stop cashgating first in the current administration and then recover that from the past. It is only an insane person who can continue to pour water into a leaking pail and hope that he can hold the water in that leaking container. The world must really be laughing at us Malawians. Disgusting!!!!

  29. To say the truth, Chaponda is misleading the president. Apm , u are a professor, listen to what the oppostion and CSOs are saying for you to govern the country. Some of your ministers, advisors, DPPs ndi vima YES BWANA. When you are in trouble, will leave u alone.

  30. Hd says:

    Amene sanachimwe ayambe kumponya miyala ochimwayo

  31. Khuwale says:

    Tikumana 2019. Mudyeretu a Pumbwa inu. Mungodya ndalama zathu. Mwangowunjikanamo mu boma ndi ku state house ko. Kumangowononga misonkho yathu. Tionana posachedwapa. Anthu wokupha inu. Wokuba inu

  32. odabwa says:

    Yusuf tionetse nkhope yako.

  33. Hens master says:

    Chaponda has been a failure in all ministerial positionso.

  34. Lt. Col. Chibwatiko says:

    Chaponda is full of shit.

    Chigama ngati nkhwere. Zakuchiphwisi basi.

  35. jack Banda says:

    Between Chaponda and who wrote this article, I think Chaponda is on point. The author doesn’t understand issues.

    For a journalist to investigate doesn’t mean a journalist should arrest. A journalist by the nature of his profession, he is supposed to investigate.

    Izi za ku UNGA izi ndi ma speculation chabe, don’t waste people’s time with zibwana za pa social media.

  36. Ndaninso says:

    Chaponda is the most stupid minister Malawi has ever had. He is not only tribalistic but a devil as well.

  37. sniper from ntcheu says:

    if l fail to assassinated munthalika, then chaponda will be my target …

  38. The minister of puffing, koma samatamba ameneyu?

  39. Mafikizolo says:

    You just have to take one look at Chaponda’s face to know that the man spends a great deal of time thinking about ziphwisi . This guy is a national embarrassment. I feel angry every time I recall the time I was asked about our “anti-farting” law by some foreigners around a dinner table in Sandton, South Africa a few years ago.

  40. Kalulu says:

    Brova Dr Chaponda Umankhwana! Zamunyasa Azilume Kusana.

  41. Malawiyano says:

    Cash gate is supposed to be investigated from the time of Muluzi , Bingu and JB. There should be no excuse like some audit mistakes , that is a verbal audit , we need the actual audit to take place , no stories to be coming from a bulldog’s mouth.

  42. yusuf says:

    Chaponda ndimaona ngati ndiongonyansa nkhope chabe koma osadziwa kuti ananyansa ndintima omwe.

  43. Blessed Banda says:

    The most arrogant minister Malawi has ever had and he harbours presidential ambitions. May the journalists dig the MK577 billion which they stole in the DPP first 8 years and see if this government will stand.

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