The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) but has maintained that former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda will remain in his position of vice-president (Southern Region), saying the fact that he is being prosecuted on corruption-related charges does not warrant his removal as he needs “presumption of innocence”.
Kasaila said Chapaonda will be allowed to hold his position as second-in command in the ruling party despite his court case until proven guilty by a competent court of law and not public opinion.
“DPP cannot remove out vice president Chaponda on the basis of an accusation,” Kasaila said.
Kasaila, who is also Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, also said President Peter Mutharika has said Chaponda is free to attend any DPP public events.
There has been calls for President Peter Mutharika to remove Chaponda from the position in DPP to send a clear message to Malawians that the party does not condone corruption.
Chaponda, the Ivy League trained lawyer turned politician—alongside two businesspersons Rashid Tayub of Transglobe Produce Export Limited and Grace Mijiga Mhango, who also chairs the Grain Traders and Processors Association of Malawi—were arrested in connection with alleged corrupt practices during the procurement of maize at the height of a food shortage crisis that gripped the country last year.
He is answering three corruption-related charges linked to the controversial procurement of maize from Zambia.
The former minister, who is Mulanje South West member of Parliament (MP), denies any wrong doing.