Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda is suing Times Group for what he said was the malicious manner of how one of its titles, Malawi News a weekly paper reported his failure to appear before the Parliamentary inquiries into the controversial maize procurement from Zambia.
Chaponda through his lawyers M and M Global, is suing for defamation allegations over the story which appeared in the Malawi News of January 28 to 3 Februay, 2017 because its headline ‘The Defiant Chaponda’.
According to the writ of summons which Nyasa Times has seen, the headline in question was aimed at harming the image of Chaponda.
Lawyer Madalitso Mmeta representing Chaponda said the headline is “defamatory” which he argues in simple terms means “to offer resistance so something or challenge something.”
Mmeta said Malawi News“ intended to portray an appalling image” of Chaponda at face value to the general public without the person or the reader getting into further details of the article official and individual of right thinking people.”
In the story, it is reported that the Chaponda failed to attend the maize inquiry because he received inviation late, but the copy editor fumed to what his reporter was reporting.
Chaponda claimed he said he could not attend the inquiry because he saw the communication late.
The Minister who is also Leader of Government in Parliament maintains that he was not directly involved in the purchase of maize from Zambia.
He said his involvement was minimal as the main buyer of the maize was the Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) and not his ministry.