Chaponda sues Times for maizegate stories, claims damages: Malawi News editor tells Minister ‘we will meet in court’

Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, George Chaponda is suing Times Group for defamation on a series of stories it has been publishing highlighting his alleged wrongdoing in his role in the involvement of a local firm, Transglobe, in Malawi’s questionable procurement of relief maize from Zambia.

George Kasakula – Editor-In-Chief of Times Group: We stand by our stories on maizegate

Chaponda: Claims damagaes from newspaper

In a Civil Cause number 55 of 2017, Chaponda is claiming damages from Times Group Editor-In-Chief and Malawi News editor George Kasakula, the Daily Times editor Innocent Chitosi and The Sunday Times editor Chachacha Munthali.

Chaponda is also seeking damages from Times reporter Alick Ponje and Daily Times assistant editor Madalitso Mussa.

He claims that the scribes “falsely and maliciously” published defamatory words of the minister and that the Sunday Times positioned Chaponda’s picture against a headline of ‘Epitome of Decadence’ an opinion piece, claiming it was calculated to portray the minister as a morally rotten person.

Chaponda is claiming damages for libel, exemplary and aggravated damages for libel and legal costs.

But Times editor-in-chief Kasakula has challenged Chaponda that the news organisation “stand by all the stories and commentaries” it has published on maizegate scandal.

Kasakula said they are ready to meet Chaponda in court.

Chaponda had sued Times before   a report was presented to President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe by the commission of inquiry that has been investigating the maize procurement from Zambia headed by retired Chief Justice Anastasia Msosa.

The report recommends that Chaponda needs to be investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

In its recommendations, the report says, in part: “The dealings between the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Dr. George Chaponda, MP, in this procurement process should be further investigated by the ACB as the manner in which Transglobe obtained an export permit from the Ministry of Agriculture of Zambia to supply maize to Admarc raises suspicion.”

In its findings, the commission describes two visits by Chaponda to Zambia as necessary ones. The first one was to hold negotiations with his counterpart to persuade the Zambia Government to allow the importation of maize by Malawi, while the second was as a special envoy to persuade the Zambian Government to lift a maize export ban that government had just imposed, it added.

However, the commission found that in the role as an envoy, Chaponda went beyond the two official mandates and bordered on interference with the procurement process.

Says the report: “First, the minister attempted to influence Admarc as to who should supply maize under the ZCF contract from the Zambian side.

The report notes that Chaponda personally asked Admarc to buy maize from Transglobe, a Malawian company with maize stocks in Chipata.

“This request was rejected by Admarc, which had signed a contract with ZCF. Admarc confirmed that Transglobe indeed approached them on several occasions on this matter. Secondly, the minister advised Transglobe to go and meet officials in the Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia to negotiate an export permit to supply part of the 100 000 metric tons of maize that was agreed in the contract between Admarc and ZCF,” adds the report.

Chronicling several questionable developments, the report says when Chaponda went to Zambia as a special envoy, a Tayub of Transglobe was also in Zambia meeting with officials in the Ministry of Agriculture.

The commission found two notable things about this development: the first being that the export ban was lifted and the second being that the Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia issued export licences to both ZCF and Transglobe, splitting the contract tonnage of 100 000 metric tonnes that was contracted between ZCF and Admarc in equal share of 50 000 metric tonnes with Transglobe.

“This development cannot be attributed to coincidence. It raises suspicion in relation to dealings between the minister and Transglobe. One can, therefore, not rule out the possibility of corrupt dealings between the two parties,” the report states.

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13 thoughts on “Chaponda sues Times for maizegate stories, claims damages: Malawi News editor tells Minister ‘we will meet in court’”

  1. vavlov says:

    Hate or like him, George Kasakula is a straight talking person. Malawi needs people like him not those always clapping hands and praising mediocrity, under-performance, corruption and neptism. Malawi needs more George Kasakulas!!!!

  2. john says:

    LEAVE KASAKULA ALONE. IF HE IS MCP, SO WHAT? WE ALSO HAVE SOME JOURNALISTS AT MBC WHO ARE DPP. TALK OF PHILLIP BUSINESS, STEVEN MASEYA, ETC. ALL THESE ARE DPP. MUNATIONA IFE TIKUKHUWA?

    IF YOU DONT LIKE GEORGE KASAKULA’S ARTICLES, DONT READ THEM…US WE ENJOY READING THEM AND WE WILL CONTINUE BUYING THE NEWSPAPER. HE WRITES THEM FOR US. FINISH!

    KASAKULA WOYEEE!

  3. Zingalume phula ntenga says:

    Tachiwonani nkhopeyo kunyasa ngati pa msana pa chule. Koma Thephetheye uliva kuwawa dziko la Malawi tu usanati.

  4. ChangingFaces says:

    “…TA Kasakula in Ntchisi, kuchimake kwa gule wamkulu…” So says a Foolish Troll.
    George Kasakula is from KU, the district which is so HARD-WORKING that it produces more maize than all m’bwiza/masewe dancing districts of the South. Tell me about LAZINESS down the South.

  5. The Analyst says:

    O……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O
    These are kicks of a horse that’s about to die!
    . . . What do you mean when you say the Daily Times portrayed you as a morally rotten person?
    . . . Is it just the Daily Times that has portrayed you as such? Haven’t you read that even the Commission of Inquiry has recommend that you (Chaponda) needs to be investigated further? As corrupt tendencies have been detected in your conduct? Does this indicate that you are a morally upright person?
    . . . Yes, anybody can choose to report whatever they want, but can it be a coincidence that almost everybody talks/reports bad about you?
    . . . You see, the ultimate measure of a man’s moral standing is his ability to foregore personal benefits for the common good. Thus, the moment APM (mis)appointed you Minister of Agriculture, moral uprightness would have begged you to ask APM consider you for another post coz you (a lawyer) have no competence in agriculture.
    . . . Having failed this test, another opportunity presented itself for you to prove your moral position when you were implicated in the maize-gate. What would a morally upright person do in a case where he is being investigated for wrong doing, if not step aside for fairness to the inquiry?
    . . . Unless the definition of morality has changed, you Chaponda has not even a kilobyte of morality. You have all parameters of a person who suffers from Acute Moral/Integrity Deficiency. And you need to do some soul-searching, ASAP!
    ………………………………….
    Let the Daily Times not move even a hair, in fear.
    . . . Its very easy to prove that Chaponda is a morally deficient man. If this is not easy, then its also not easy for him to prove you wrong. Asaa!
    O……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O

  6. Mtumbuka watsankho says:

    Mumulemeretsa Chaponda apa. Usawasiye chaponda adzazolowera chibwana

    1. Wagwa nayo Chaponda says:

      Keep dreaming. Chaponda will withdraw that case out of embarrassment. How can you claim to be defamed when the alleged defamer was only speaking truth about you? The defense of justification applies. Chaponda will pay costs for this frivolous court case.

  7. santana says:

    George Kasakula is MCP. Comes from TA Ksakula in Ntchisi district, kuchimake kwa gule wamkulu. What he is doing at Times is not to work as a journalist but campaigning for MCP. This is why he only writes about politics. Knowing that he cannot write anything on MCP because there is nothing good to write about he has seen it reasonable to write negative things about the party (DPP) which his party (MCP) fears most. But what Kasakula, a son from old Visanza district should know is that his MCP will never see the corridors of the state houses in Malawi.

  8. santana says:

    George Kasakula is a disgruntled man. When he was working in the Nation Publication he challenged Goodall Gondwe that the DPP should never dream of ruling this country again. This was when Goodall told reporters that the DPP meetings are well patronized by Malawians giving hope that the party can win the 2014 elections. Didn’t the DPP win the 2014 elections shaming Kasakula? So its not surprising that the man always writes negatively anything to do with this government. Let him lick his wounds together with Brian Banda who thought Amayi would do well in the 2014 votes. By the way, where is Bwande, another disgruntled licker of the 2014 elections?

  9. Bwana chapondamchimanga pangafupike pangatalike mudzaonekera poyera. Malawi sidziko la a lomwe okha ayi. Kaya mukudalira kuti Mr Ibu akuyikani kumbuyo, okey koma nthawi imafika yoti anthu adzatopa nanu. Mudzlimvakuwawa dziko la malawi

  10. Chaponda…asowe..basi..

  11. chiphazi says:

    Though I don’t support what Chaponda has done but I don’t like the way this George Kasakula takes up some issues especially those involving people in DPP. This man is too MCP and if my memory serves me right, he was earmarked for the post of presidential press officer had it been that the MCP had won during the 2014 tripartite elections. Previously I used to enjoy his articles in the newspapers but now what I see in him is a disgruntled personnel of that rumour depending fourth estate.

  12. Wanakabaghe says:

    Chizeleza Icho! Nacho Chukaka Wanthu Naunkhungu Wakhe! Chimbava Chapondera Ngoma. Pumbwe Iwe, Ukuononga Mbiri Ya Dpp Kuteloko Chipani Chikutha. Ukamupeza Kasambala Mbewa Iwe

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