Why Malawi Agriculture Minister George Chaponda too must go over ‘maizegate’

Agriculture Minister Dr George Chaponda gave his seal of approval that it is alright for poor Malawians to buy maize at K12,500 per 50 kilogramme bag.

Chaponda: Under fire

Admarc is a parastatal that reports to the Ministry of Agriculture which is headed by Chaponda.

When Parliament was in session in Lilongwe three weeks ago, opposition MPs pleaded, rolled on the floor and begged that government considers lowering the price of maize at Admarc.

Chaponda was at his vintage best, eloquently telling off the MPs that none of what they were asking for on behalf of their people will happen. Maize would remain pegged at K12,500, he declared.

Chaponda took a trip to Zambia just before Parliament and he called himself a special envoy of President Peter Mutharika to his Zambian counterpart Edgar Lungu. The issue was once again maize.

Today the whole maize deal has imploded. Malawians who wondered how private traders can sell maize cheaper than Admarc have their answer.

Admarc lied to the nation that it is buying maize from the Zambian government through a parastatal. It turns out through revelations by Times Group that the maize was bought through a middleman hence the exorbitant price it is being sold in Admarc markets.

A majority of Malawians live below the poverty line of less than K1000 a day. Maize is the staple food in this country. Any sensible Minister of Agriculture whose primary responsibility is to feed the country cannot accept that maize should be beyond the reach of the majority of Malawians by allowing it to be sold at such an exorbitant cost during a year of hunger and deprivation.

Chaponda did and he never wavered. When told that private traders are selling maize cheaper than Admarc, he arrogantly and happily told off Malawians that the traders

will run out of stock which will make them flock back to Admarc.

At this stage we do not know the motives that propelled Chaponda to think in the manner he did. We do not know whether there is a personal gain that he made out of the maize deal.

Yet his behavior is suspect and not fitting of a competent Agriculture Minister. He argues that he was not involved in the procurement of the maize and therefore he sees no reason why he should go.

But Chaponda clearly provided oversight in this matter. He gave the process a seal of approval. He saw no problem in selling maize to poor Malawians at an exorbitant rate.

If he did not take part in procurement of the maize, what was he doing in Zambia with President Edgar Lungu? Did he go there to pick his nose or discuss weather with the Zambian leader?

Any procurement of maize that makes it beyond the reach of Malawians is bad and should not happen.

This is a year of hunger and if anything government through the Ministry of Agriculture, should have ensured that maize be within the reach of all Malawians.

This is what a responsible minister would do in a time of crisis that we are.

Chaponda did not do the above but the opposite. He talked down hungry Malawians. Together with Admarc they have bungled and the results are that Malawians have suffered hunger.

He cannot say he is not going to resign. He must because he is an incompetent minister.

This is not the first time that Chaponda has run nuts over public affairs. He embarrassed this country at the height of the Bingu wa Mutharika government intoxication with churning out bad laws after the 2009 election when he said government is in the process of promulgating a law that would ban breaking wind in the public to preserve the environment.

It later turned out that was his total misunderstanding of the law that was being made but the damage was done and we went down in history as a people who are overzealous and stupid in the eyes of the international community.

Today Chaponda is at it again, messing our lives by not reigning in on Admarc but backing their madness of selling maize at K12,500 per 50 kg bag to poor people.

Together with Admarc boss Foster Mulumbe, they must resign. Their offices are not their personal estates but belong to the people of Malawi who they have let down.

  • The article appeared on ‘Hitting the Nail’ column in Malawi News
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misozi banda
Guest

MInister wa ziphwisi idiot iye amakapwisila kuti. nditi amangonunkha zifwenthe pakhala iye,mwina amaphwisila mmapilikanilo. kucititsamanyazi ziko lose la pasi kuziwa kuti anthu asamangopwisa palipose BBC,CNN, ndiye mmene timadyela ntolilo nyemba mbatata makaka ndi nandolo, ziphwisi zakezo !!!!! ndiye tisamatuluse gas.
lunyasa cinkhope nyalugwe ndi pitala wakoyo

misozi banda
Guest
uyu ingobayani ndi muvi bwa???? Caponda akamacokera kosamba/kuphikidwa ku mazambici amazakotu mma bandakuca. misonkhano ya usiku yoti aononge dziko. awa kodi nde nda acilungamo???????????????? uyu tikungomuyangana now pali nkhani iyi VAKABU lamulo la 1934 and masiku osewatu bwanji osaliunika kale lomwelo????????????? pano mwacotsa ma ulemu aanthu. mma location ma gate thoo komatu coseco mma locationmo muli ma lawyer , anthu odziwa za malamulo. a polisi mwamanga anthu ambili. lamulo lokomera anthu a magalimoto. ma hardcore mbava amayenda mmagalimoto. ena amagalimoto mbanda zenizeni malamulo aazaungu(azungu atiuza) pano nde titsekule milandu pomatimanga kuticotsera ufulu oyenda usiku. A khoti masulani bwinobwinotu apankhani yatalika… Read more »
jone
Guest

CHAPONDA SABA

Papa Chalo
Guest

Once Chaponda is arrested he will reveal more evil deals they did in the past with Peter. No wonder Mutharika
is afraid to fire Chaponda. 7 Ministers posachedwapa mumva m’bebe. Mulungu atimenyera nkhondo.

Ma floods munabweretsa ndi inu? It’s GOD. Chaponda has revealed himself in the process of serving flood victims.

Mupita Nonse Mbava inu.

RICHMAN
Guest

A Kasakula apa ndiye mwanena chilungamo zampweteka aphulika ndipo wakwiya nanu ndi mfiti

koma abale inu eeh
Guest
Koma iwe George Kasakula: umandibowa bwa? (GK: I can’t believe I spent a minute reading your column to discover nothing new!) Columnists worth the honor should come up with revelations, not just regurgitated opinions: because columnists are supposed to have connections to enviable and reliable sources. Sources that reveal accurate information we are hungry for. Do you have any such sources, really? You seem to call for Bwana Chaponda’s exit based on your opinion that he is arrogant. (And I can’t believe you brought up the so-called anti-farting law) Not that he is incompetent. The man, in his service to… Read more »
Yankho Yapuwa
Guest
In as much as the issues raised in the article maybe a bit ‘regurgitated’, couple of premises here aren’t in order. 1. Even though Admarc was sorely responsible for the procurement, a deal that big and of such significance would require the scrutiny from the responsible minister and that means Chaponda. The guy at admarc has been relieved of his duties. DPP supporter or not you have to acknowledge the hard truth that for a proper investigation the minister has to step aside. 2. To the best of my little knowledge I thought cases involving some aspect of fraud are… Read more »
Chambe
Guest

Koma abale inu eeh. You are just spot on! Can’t agree more.

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