Attorney General files motion to vacate injunction on Chaponda in ‘maizegate’

The Attorney General’s office has filed a motion  at the High Court in Mzuzu to vacate an ex-parte injunction a private individual and three civil society organisations obtained last Thursday asking the Court to suspend Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda to pave way for smooth investigations on the maizegate scandal.

Kaphale: Files application to vacate injunction

It is not clear as to when the court will rule.

Attorney General Kelekeni Kaphale argues in his motion that the Court does not have the jurisdiction in a judicial review on administrative action andthat the application by the civil society organisatons “ does not disclose an arguable case or serious questions fit for further inquiry at a judicial review hearing.”

The maizegate scandal is a suspected corruption elecment  where Agricultural Development and Marketing Cooperation (ADMARC) reportedly bought maize at K26 billion from the Zambian company and it is believed that Malawi could have saved about K9.5 billion if it had bought the grain directly from the Zambian government.

The Court has set Tuesday 17th January, 2017 for the initial hearing of the Attorney General’s application.

The CSOs that were led by private individualCharles Kajoloweka – are Mzuzu based Youth and Society and Church and Society Programme and the Lilongwe based Center for Development of People.

Their action follows Mutharika’s appointment of a commission of inquiry into the allegationsof corruption and malpractices into the Zambian maize procurement saga.

Kajoloweka and the others argue that failure by Mutharika to fire Chaponda will compromise the outcome of the Commission of Inquiry on maizegate as a line Cabinet minister, he may interfere with the investigations.

Justice John Chirwa granted the injunction on Thursday, effectively suspending Chaponda from cabinet and allowing a judicial review as the CSOs argue that Mutharika erred in his choice of commission of inquiry.

Chaponda, who was served with court papers on Thursday, faces contempt of court charges and possible arrest if he does not duly comply with the High Court order.

The  judicial review application filed on Wednesday afternoon under civil cause number 01 of 2017, liststhe respondents as: Chaponda as first respondent, the Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale as second respondent and President Peter Mutharika as third respondent.

While the applicants are: Charles Kajoloweka as first applicant, Youth and Society as second, CCAP Synod of Livingstonia (Church and Society Programme) as third and Centre for Development of People as fourth.

In the AG application filed on Thursday, the executive arm of government wants the second respondent, the AG Kalekeni Kaphale struck off the case because none of his decisions, actions or inactions are under inquiry in the intended judicial review application.

Further they want to Court to remove the three CSOs as parties to the application saying they all do not have sufficient standing in the case.

Meanwhile, law professor at the University of Cape Town in South AfricaDanwoodChirwa has applauded Justice James Chirwa for doing his job saying if a President fails to uphold the constitution he swore to defend, it is the duty of the courts to remind him of his constitutional responsibilities.

“The so-called commission of inquiry is a facade aimed at shielding the suspects from accountability. There is no need for an expensive commission filled by political cadres to investigate this criminal issue whose facts are easily ascertainable.

“There are qualified investigators within the law enforcement agencies who can get to the bottom of this within days, not even weeks,” Chirwa said.

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Almon Nyasulu
Guest

Namachero kulidoli nakuti nawamaso yachoko nayo wamuwoneskeska kudodoliska kuti dodoli ngati wakulawiska musumba “BUNDI ilo”! pa Mzuzu high court

Pompe
Guest
Iwe chitsiru MCP Die hard kodi nkhani ya a Tumbuka ndiiti apa? This is the reason why MCP is afraid of even stepping across the Bwanje River. A Tumbuka akulakwilanjinso apa. Kodi Judge Chagona ndi Ntumbuka? So there should be no judges from the North in this case in your brainless head? Kulimbanana ndi mtundu wa Ku Mpoto chifukwa chiani. Do you know that even the Dictator you call Kamuzu Banda also came from Nkhata-Bay? And is Nkhata-Bay in Kasungu or Lilongwe? Matako ambuyako wamva? The issue here is about justice and not who sat on the bench to rule… Read more »
Pompe
Guest

Namaliya N.G. you too are using a pseudonym. We know it. If the government can use MRA to close the entire Times Group and Chawowa or Ngaunje people is it not itself responsible for people hiding their real names. There is no freedom of speech in this Government. They would come and Chasowa you or Ngaunje you if they knew your real identify. Open your eyes Namaliya. Perhaps you too do not see the wantom corruption going on in this country. Kugona basi!

Pompe
Guest
Chaponda and Mutharika you were hiding in the USA while bona fide Malawians were bearing the wrath of Kamuzu Banda. You really do not understand the pain we bore. Chaponda is even not wanted in his own village because of his own cruelty. Time for shielding one another is gone. Malawians have had enough. The truth must be out. Do you two know the conditions under which poor Malawians undergo in our hospitals. Do you that up to five children sometimes are packed in one bad at our referral hospitals? Do you how guardian shelters look like in our public… Read more »
Namaliya N. G.
Guest

The very idea of using pseudonyms smacks of cowardice and ill-conceived intentions by the publisher’s and subscribers, I think. Eeeh, this is my opinion.

Tione
Guest

Namaliya N. G., usamayankhule ngati ndiwe mlendo ku Malawi kuno kuti sukudziwa zomwe zimachitika. People use pseudonyms for obvious reasons as anthu amasakidwa ngati nyama ndikuphedwa mosadziwika bwino akadziika poyera podzudzula boma mzolakwika. It’s not cowardice as you call it, but Phukusi la moyo saasungirana, wamva? Iweyo ungaigwire njoka ndimanja? Cholinga ndi kufuna kunena maganizo awo kuti boma limve ndikusiya mchitidwe woipawu komanso kuti lidziwe kuti anthu akuona zolakwazo. They have no ill intentions but to assist government. Ukuyankhula ngati sudziwa zochitaza DPP bwanji?

Namaliya N. G.
Guest

If all subscribers to Nyasa times were not liars, cheaters or thieves themselves, there would be no reason to use code names!

Zaya ku Nkhongo
Guest
aMalawi sitizatheka! Kodi aChaponda what are the allegations levelled at him? What is his involvement in this whole saga? What exactly is he supposed to have done? Ine l really don’t find reason to have Chaponda suspended? Being a Minister he is responsible for policy management and not operation of a statutory body under his purview. Mulumbe being CEO of Admarc is responsible for the ongoings at Admarc unless he personally alleges inteference of Chaponda in the purchasing of maize from Zambia. Our courts they are so out of touch with common sense and they can’t even interrogate issues brought… Read more »
woona
Guest

The government(MOH) suspended 60 employees (for investigation)of which some were not directly linked with the cashgate in the district hospitals why not ndi iyi yachidziwikileyi ya ndalama zankhaninkhani.mmm kulimbikitsa corruption

Tsalayekha Mzika
Guest
It’s good to see a judge taking his responsibility in a case that most lawyers could shun away from. The problem in Malawi is that most of the so-called educated don’t want to get seriously involved in openly challenging the mess that is happening in the government and civil service. It’s always discouraging and sickening when you read in the papers that such such a lawyer expressed their opinion on an issue and does not want to be named. If a lawyer is such a coward then who can come forward among the common citizenry and challenge the government? We… Read more »
Okoma Atani
Guest

Chaponda will one day rule Malawi. Atumbuka nonse mudzakomoka ndi high blood pressure. Tawonani pano mwayamba kale kudzibibila.

Tione
Guest

Okoma Atani, are you a Malawian or not? Ndikuuze mawu a akulu ‘Kunena kwa ndithendithe, Nanthambwe anadzitengera.’ & ‘Nthanga kunena adathawitsa likongwe wa apongozi.’ Chaponda wake uti wodzapanga rule Malawiyo? Nkhalamba & mfiti yotha anthu, ali nkhope ngati kuthako kwa nkhumbayu? Anthu enanu mumandimvetsa chisoni. Muli ndi maso koma simupenya. Muli ndi makutu muli nawo koma simumva. Muli ndi ubongo koma simuganiza. Nkhani ili apa si ya a Tumbuka koma a Malawi. Ndiwe wodontha ngati Mutharika. Apatu wakufa sadziwika koma Mulungu atimenyera nkhondo!

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