A local social-political commentator has said if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were to feature maize-gate implicated Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda as presidential candidate some quite good number of Malawians would still vote for him despite being implicated in the Zambia maize import saga.
Writing on the social media, Makhumbo Munthali formerly of Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and now National Secretary of the Ethics, Peace, and Justice Commission (EPJC) of Evangelical Association of Malawi said due to patronage, clientelism and regionalism some sections of the society would still vote for Chaponda if DPP were to decide to feature him as a Presidential candidate despite his involvement in the maize-gate saga based on precedence.
Wrote Munthali on his Facebook page: “Verily, verily I say unto you, if George Chaponda was to be featured as DPP Presidential Candidate in an election today, quite a good number of Malawians particularly those in the Southern and Eastern region block and of course some few parts of North and Central region would vote for him to the extent of making him the President of the country.
“ If these sections of ‘accidental voters’ were able to usher into power someone who had allegedly attempted to disregard the Constitution by preventing the-then Vice President Joyce Banda from taking her position as the next President after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika and after that remained mum after the case was discontinued with impunity, what can stop them from voting for someone allegedly at the centre of maizegate saga.”
Added Munthali: “In fact, by allegedly involving himself in the maizegate saga Chaponda may have won the hearts of not only these accidental voters but also the heart of the Big Kahuna who may even strategically start positioning him as an heir to the throne. Amangwetu this is Malawi” concluded Munthali.
Meanwhile, respected professor of Public Law at the University of Cape Town DanwoodChirwa also took to the social media to back High Court order stopping Chaponda from executing his Cabinet Ministerial duties until a probe into the Zambia maize import is over by arguing that the court’s decision was a reminder to the President to uphold his Constitutional obligations.
Wrote Chirwa on his Facebook page: “If a president fails to uphold the constitution he swore to defend, it is of course the singular duty of the courts to remind him of his constitutional responsibilities. Justice James Chirwa must be applauded for doing his job.As for the politically minded legal advisers at the ministry of justice, please be frank with your political superior and tell him to take seriously and at once put an end to cashgate and looting of public funds. Attacking the judge is both ill-advised and stupid.”
The law professor further faulted the institution of the public inquiry commission on the ‘maizegate’ arguing it was merely put there to cover up the current regime’s involvement in the whole saga
“The so-called commission of inquiry is a façade 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,” argued Chirwa
Concurring with Chirwa’s observations, Munthali wrote on his Facebook page: “The Court may have only reminded the President what he is and was supposed to do”.
The Mzuzu High Court rulling has divided public opinion with government through Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale pledging to challenge the decision.
“We will challenge the injunction, and we will also challenge the judicial review as soon as we are served.”
Malawi Law Society (MLS) president John Suzi-Banda said in quotes reported by The Nation: “A decision of the court under our laws, as long as it is valid, it does not matter whether somebody disagrees with it or is aggrieved with it, until it is discharged.”
Besides, Youth and Society (YAS), Church and Society Programme of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia other CSOs like Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC), Foundation for Children’s Rights, National Women’s Lobby, Foundation for Justice Support and Phunzirani Development Organisation have also joined the case.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :