Germany ambassador to Malawi Jurgen Borsch has ruled out cancelling a visa his country issued to Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda as requested by civil society organisations in Malawi.
Chaponda is currently on forced leave of office following an injunction granted by the High Court restraining him from performing official duties but last Thursday sneaked to Germany on official duties.
“We will not cancel the visa, we don’t get involved in local politics,” Borsch said.
He confirmed that Chaponda had had a long-standing invitation from the German Government through the German Minister of Agriculture in December last year for a conference in Germany.
The trip could be in direct contravention of the High Court order granted by Justice John Chirwa restraining him from carrying out his duties until findings of a commission of inquiry into the controversial purchase of maize from Zambia are concluded.
The envoy refused to take more questions on the matter, saying it would be undiplomatic to comment on local politics.
Chaponda faces contempt of court proceedings in the Mzuzu High Court for proceeding to Germany on official duty after the High Court suspended him to allow smooth investigations into allegations of suspicious dealings in the procurement of maize from Zambia.
Robert Mkwezalamba, the board chairman of Human Rights Consultative Committee said the civil society organisations wrote the Germany embassy in Lilongwe to cancel the visa issued to Chaponda to force him come back home and face court proceedings.
Chaponda rejects any wrong doing in the maize procurement process.
He risks arrest or seizure of his arrest should the court finds him guilty, according to the CSOs lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa.
Malawi Law Society (MLS) honorary secretary Khumbo Soko said if proved that Chaponda is on official duties, then the minister is guilty of contempt of court.
The CSOs say they will commence contempt of court proceedings against Chaponda.