Malawi President fires minister Chaponda over ‘Maizegate’ scandal

Malawi’s Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, George Chaponda has been fired by President Peter Mutharika, the first top government figure to be pushed out to pave way for smooth investigations towards the suspicious maize purchase from Zambia, State House has confirmed.

Chaponda: Fired

Several quarters including the Malawi Law Society, Opposition Members of Parliament and the Civil Society community have been asking  President Mutharika to fire Chaponda for his involvement and implication in the controversial maize deal.

Leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera said the President “needs to to the needful” to have Chaponda sacked.

And on Wednesday President Mutharika cracked the whip and fired his trusted minister.

Presidential spokesman Mgeme Kalilani confirmed to Nyasa Times in a statement.

“This is to inform the public that using powers vested in him by the Constitution, His Excellency the President, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika has decided to relieve Dr. George Chaponda; M.P of his responsibilities as Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development with immediate effect.

“ With this development, all matters requiring the attention of the Minister of Agriculture should be referred to the President,” Kalilani said.

The sack comes after the Ati Corruption Bureau (ACB) raided Chaponda’s residence in Lilongwe where they conducted a search and seizure exercise.

During the exercise ACB seized cash between US$58,000 and MK127 million which was found stashed in suitcases.ACB deputy director general Mr Reyneck Matemba confirmed the amounts.

Blantyre-based private practice lawyer Jai Banda who is an expert in financial crimes and money laundering said there is no law that stipulates the maximum aount of money a person can keep on him.

But Banda said ACB can use the Corrupt Practices Act to prosecute Chapona if he fails to explain how he got the money.

Banda also said there is no crime in keeping foreign currency but it should be proved that Chaponda obtained it from a legal dealer.

ACB director general Lucas Kondowe said he could not discuss the operation in the media because the bureau “is a constitutional body” thar operates independently.

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73 thoughts on “Malawi President fires minister Chaponda over ‘Maizegate’ scandal”

  1. Tione says:

    U MP avulidwenso mfiti imeneyi. Mxiew!

  2. Yahya Jammeh says:

    Santana why are you so dull to say all this nonesnse. The fact that Jai Banda said that there is no law that specifies how much money one keep in the house does not mean Chaponda can escape the whip of the law. Do you know how the law is applied to suspects of crimes? Jai Banda clearly said the ACB can use the Corruption Act to pin down Chaponda, you mean you didn’t read this? After all, Chaponda is not the first person to be found with millions of money in the house. How about Lutepo, Kalonga and others, were they spared by the law? Tell me if the law that does not specify how much one one can keep in he house was there when the cash gaters were taken to court and where are they now and what makes you think Chaponda will be spared. The law works on precencence, this means if Lutepo was arrested on similar crime, Chaponda will also go to jail, whether you like it or not. Stupid mbuzi mano kunsi Satana. I will rule Gambia for a billion years.

    1. Imbwa says:

      Spot on. Chitsiru Santana has been caught pants down and, if he is not that dull, he is able to see the house crumbling around him nanga si wadya zambiri zakuba za DPP. You know these fools have been thinking this country belonging to them only

  3. winston msowoya says:

    One misguided contributor wrote that Chaponda has been fired because APM is from the NORTH.What a shame? For his information,Northerners do not have harlequin and brainless people like Peter Muthalika. We produce brilliant and highly professional cadres that is why Malawi is independent today,without that,we could be still under colonial domination.Look at what Banda did to the people of Malawi,look at Muluzi,look at Bingu and finally,look at J. Banda, all these fools and inept ex-leaders came from the South and Central Malawi,so why the Northerners face barbaric attitudes from other Malawians day in day out. Afterall, Northerners have never been at the helm of power since independence 53 years ago,so why hating them for the evil things committed by fools and brainless leaders from the South and Central Malawi.WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND!!!!!!!

  4. paul jones says:

    aliyemse amene ali mbali ya mbava ziwilizi APM and Caponda will go to Hail. this is insane. stealing tax payers money and its a shame that the tax payerr themselvs dnt knw that itr their money.

  5. Patrick yohane super says:

    now days eish too bad now how country can develop with such ways?

  6. The Analyst says:

    Yes Chaponda’s firing is the right thing to do but I dont think this is a cause for celebration. Kodi . .
    . . . What has it taken us for APM to make this decision, if not CSO’s running around (threatening with demos etc), and Members of Parliament (abandoning all national duties) jeering and booing?
    . . . Should people wait to be pushed and threatened (with demos etc) for them to act?
    Let APM know that his continued indecisiveness (tulo/kugona) is costing this country a lot. Nanga
    . . . Who doesn’t know that Chaponda should have been fired a long time ago?
    . . . Who is too myopic to know that a right decision made at a wrong time (late) is no different from a wrong decision?
    . . . Which idiot doesn’t know that offices and furniture (at Ministry of Agriculture) could have been saved (from fire) had Chaponda been fired at the earliest time possible?
    . . . Who is too dumb to know that the job of the Commission of Inquiry was made tougher with APM’s reluctance to fire Chaponda?
    You see . . .
    . . . People should do the right thing not for fear of consequences (of doing the opposite), but because they are convinced that doing the right thing, is the right thing to do.
    . . . Sadly, APM has fired Chaponda not because he (APM) believes this is the right thing to do, but because people had began suspecting that APM is the ultimate beneficiary of Chaponda’s underhand dealings. And this is not a cause for celebration to any sane mind.
    . . . Timeliness (in making/acting on a right decision) is just as important as the right decision itself. And Chaponda’s firing is long overdue to conjure even a kilobyte of celebration is a sane mind.
    . . . With this APM’s I-cant-think-or-act-on-my-own attitude, will anybody be surprised to see Chaponda given another post?
    . . . Nothing worth celebrating here!

  7. santana says:

    Wait a minute!!!! Why is Chaponda fired? The ACB went to Chaponda’s house to find out if there are some sensitive documents which could be used in the ”maize scam”. What have the ACB told us about such documents if any? If the issue of kwachas and dollars was not there what would be the news after the search? People commenting here have totally forgotten about the primary aim of the ACB’s mission to Chaponda’s house. Jai Banda has said that legally there can be nothing for an open case for Chaponda for the only reason that he kept money in his house. He may as well defend himself with convincing explanations on why there is such an amount in his house. The guy knew pretty well that ACB is coming to search his house so he could be so loose to keep the filled suitcases in the open if he knew it was a crime to keep money of any level in the house. If there were any sensitive documents linking to the so called ”maize gate” this man would have already done the hiding long before the coming of these ACB members. If as you speculate he afforded to burn his office while he was absent from work what would prevent him from hiding the money which was in his own house? He knew that legally there was nothing wrong in the money he was keeping. The ACB have not told us that the suitcases were hidden in some dark corners. Those commenting on this issue are just doing this to save their faces because they know that the sole aim of searching Chaponda’s house was not about money but documents linking to the maizegate which were not found. And this money cannot be linked to the maizegate because till now reports indicate that no money changed hands on the maize deal meaning there was no commissions or kickbacks. The president has done the chop to Chaponda not that he has found him wrong. He has done this to tactically stop the noise from the opposition. He has studied the situation and found out that this is a ploy by the losers to continue making useless noise so that they get excuses of not supporting good work of the government which in turn would be a plus in the next elections. The president talks to Chaponda everyday and the chopping has not come to Chaponda as a surprise. He might even done the initiative to this action. APM knows that chopping Chaponda will not negatively affect the party because Chaponda is not an influencial figure in the party. Chilima, though an outsider contributed something to the party in 2014 but not Chaponda. Chaponda surprisingly has shaken the opposition for the reasons which some of us can not find. It is just the fear of unknown. How old will Chaponda be in 2024 if we think he can be a possible successor to APM? That’s why some of us think the opposition attacks on Chaponda are coming from stupid and silly minds because the man is not a crowd puller on national level. He has contributed nothing in the 2014 win as Chilima did. Do you really think the party supporters can switch allegiance to MCP or PP just because Chaponda was found with money in his house? The problem which the opposition MCP and PP has is that they are wasting time on trivial matters instead of finding reasons for a 2014 loss and start stratigising in readness of 2019. By the time you start realizing that you have done nothing on the ground to woo people to your party it will be one week to elections. APM and Chaponda are one in thinking and planning. Don’t think APM has done this to punish Chaponda. He has done this to give rope to the opposition to hung itself. There is no any other party in Chaponda’s area apart from DPP therefore APM’s move on Chaponda has shaken no pillar in the party. These two guys talk and plan together. They will both lose nothing on the move taken. So Mr. Chilungamo chimawawa this is my contribution as you asked for it.

    1. Ine Ndi One says:

      You are a complete idiot.

    2. Tione says:

      Iwe Satana, Do you know the saying “Khoswe wapadenga adaulula wapadzala?” This is exactly what has happened or we wouldn’t have known that someone was keeping such a large amount that kept devaluing while just being kept idle. We’ve been complaining of abused & missing funds. Don’t you think this money is part of the abused & missing funds? Had he gotten it legally, he would have banked it but he feared the bank would have got suspicious. You are a complete fool as you don’t think sensibly. Maybe ndi ambuyako & you have benefited from all this loot. I’d rather have you not commenting on such issues of national concern. It appears to every sensible person that you have a brain of a rat. This is denying the country of development as your uncle Chaponda continued to milk the already thin cow. A word to Mutharika, ,don’t you dare send Chaponda on a deplomatic mission otherwise there would be chaos. Chaponda belongs to Maula or Zomba maximum prison.

  8. chaponda ndi big ali chete munthu opanda manyazi kulimba ntima ngati mfiti yaikazi yaku mulenje kapena kuti mfiti yachilomwe eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee nyete zenizeni pamtumbo

  9. smoko says:

    Iwe Joseph Nkasa apa Nde unenapo Chiani? Imbansotu za Chaponda wakoyo tikumvele. Osamangotengeka zilizonse adzakuchotsanipo mano nkhani zosakukhudzani. Shupiti. Mwina nawenso unanyambitako nao zachimangazi eti? Tikufufuza basi.

  10. Tifelanji says:

    Onse mumachita sapoti munthu wakubayu mudadziwika nonse, amene mumangolikwira zinthu ndi kumawombera m’manja zinthu zoipa. Apa nanunso you shall be taken to justice. People had been crying to God to put all thieves on open, now things have started to happen. Soon all of them shall be exposed, including you fake supporters. Mdzasowa chowilingula.

  11. Phaghlani Vwavwa says:

    Maybe Chaponda has been fired because APM is from the north. Paja ndimmene timaganizira mu Malawi muno.


    Evidence was overwhelming that’s why the President has taken this step. It is a very welcome move. Dr George Chaponda is corrupt according to the evidence so far gathered.

    But the one worrying thing is that the Zambian government is in deep sleep while the institutions/Minister involved in this are having a good time and its people and well swallowed in prayer; praying for the army worms (caterpillars) to leave their farms and gardens alone.

    Their President doesn’t even mind giving a national address on this scandalous deal between Chaponda and their (Zambian) government officials. Their minister of agriculture even left the country to enjoy the loot from the Zambia/Malawi maizegate. This is the same minister under president Rupiah Banda who sold and militantly defended the sale of their telecommunication company (Zamtel) for just $250 million to Lapgreen, a Libyan company. The proceeds from this sale ended up being shared among government officials some of them failed to bank it and decided to hoard it under earth on farms. The minister is said to have given ZMK2 billion ($200,000 presently) to her son.

    African leaders are something else. Are they really serving the people, or the people are serving them?

    It’s my plea that the Zambian government can also complement what Malawi has so far demonstrated.

    1. Proudly Zambian says:

      Do not comment on cases (Lapgreen/Zamtel) you don’t know. Zambian Govt is not sleeping they know what they are doing. We have highly trained investigators here in Zambia. Remember that it was Chaponda who stole from poor Malawians hence your president has fired him. so what do you want our Govt to do?


        I am shocked at how dull this Zambian is. Your level of information gathering is dangerously low. If you are the most intelligent and well enlightened Zambian to post your filthy here then I am made to believe that your leaders have brainwashed you the general citizenry. Dora Siliya so called Dora Siliti by the late Sata is well known for her crooked ways of handling government businesses. She stole airport radar money, and all the Zambians were just showing their teeth to her in appreciation. What kind of people are you Zambians? Segulani maso anu inu aZambia, akubawo akubelani chuma cha dziko. In fact it’s Dora who has caused our minister to be fired. He was not too smart for our ACB, but Dora has managed to swipe her buttocks to the presidency and fanged in ECL enough venom such that ECL cannot act on her.

        Proudly Zambian, continue praying for the army worms in your small garden while your crooked leaders are stealing in broad day light. I heard one of the opposition party leaders has enough evidence (which of course he gathered from here) but your ACC has rejected to be invalid and have rendered to be irrelevant. And you call your investigators highly trained? You must be the dullest citizen of that country.

        Since you believe in the power of prayer, you can also go to the ramshackle Kariba Dam which is collapsing anytime as reported by the Zimbabwean Times. But your leaders are telling you that water is not enough to generate power throughout, but they have not told you that they are releasing most of the water because of the eaten foot of the Dam. Get enlightened waciZambia iwe.

  13. Malawian says:

    Times Group, Nyasa Times the Credit is due to you and not this pretender we have at State house. This guy is irritatingly inept. Pathetic really. Times group it started with you. Bravo. But you have unfinished business in Nankumwa. He too has to explain his overnight riches.

    No room for thieves. Earn your riches but not stealing.

  14. Mbuzi says:

    A chitsiru a Josephy Nkasa akuti Chani pa nkhaniyi?

  15. zembo says:

    This is long overdue

  16. Masoambeta says:

    Loo !!! madziachita katondo and kudo to the President bola asakutchuleni zikafika poipa otherwise you will also go paja amati nobody is above the law though this doesn’t work here in Malawi

  17. Bill Mankhwe says:

    At long last. Chaponda has learnt a bitter lesson. To be fired by APM is total carelessness and a none reversible mistake.

  18. Apawo says:

    APM has only acted because he had no choice after the stacks of cash from Chaponda’ s house became public knowledge. The President is the one person who is promoting wanton corruption in Malawi by always insisting that cashgate only happened under JB. You may recall that his favourite mantra is “…bring me the evidence”. As recently as a week ago he was defending Chaponda at a public gathering saying that Chaponda would eventually be exonerated. I am shocked that some people are applauding APM when they know that he is the one who has been shielding top DPP officials.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg: What about the wanton misprocurement under the Community Technical Colleges? ESCOM? the fertilizer subsididy? the Green Belt Initiative? Everywhere you turn in this Government, there is unbridled greed and corruption.

    Instead of applauding APM, the opposition, civil society, the media, and the general public should now focus their pressure on APM so that he should stop shielding thieving DPP officials. ACB officers were blatantly turned away from ESCOM, and the Finance Manager resigned – but APM did not see any need to get to the bottom of what actually happened at ESCOM.

    My hope is that Chaponda’s case will now open the floodgates to the industrial scale corruption that APM has been presiding over for the past 3 years…

  19. susan manjaalera says:

    AChaponda kupepela kumasungabe ndalama m’nyumba moti simunamve report yoti you have to be investigated ? Shame on you”””””””””””””””’

  20. nadzimbiri says:

    Zabodza izi kutiphimba mmaso basi. In this deal, Chaponda is not alone, this is a sacrifice for the party and not for him to benefit as an individual.

    1. Mbuzi says:

      Of course

  21. benjones says:

    Is he going to be arrested on charges of money laundering or is he going to be posted as a diplomat in foreign country???

  22. Dodolido says:

    Mumafuna aotche kaye office!! APM mbola.

  23. Kaloswe Chapondera says:

    Nduna Yazaulimi, Hon Werani Chilenga Of Chitipa South

  24. Chapondeka says:



  25. Wamiseche Wmkulu says:

    Waponda moto woyaka mkuluyu, kukukla mtima

  26. RYN says:

    the president was cornered now shameeee,,,u cldnt adhere to the cries of Malawians,,wat kind of leader r u?shame on u and ur party,,wen God intervenes u cant run away wl catch u all thieves!!

  27. tilitonse says:

    Mr President
    Go for the liftgate. it is a Kenyan company set by Malawian. Please smoke them out before KIA goes in flame

  28. Dixy-tee says:

    The question is that why has the President taken so long to make that decision? This reactive nature of our leader is detrimental to our development. I suspect Chaponda was planning to go into exile due to the intensity of pressure from concerned citizens hence the huge stacks of hard cash found in his house. Bravo to the ACB and Police for being proactive. Lets see what next but i believe he will be posted to a diplomatic mission abroad so that the dust might settle. Typical of politiking….

    1. UKO says:

      Kodi mkhalidwe wakubayu aChaponda anatengela yani? Mwandichitisa manyazi ineyo.

  29. Kharupa says:

    Nanga Msowoya wa tractorgate achita resign liti? (When shall the speaker of parliament Msowoya resign for stealing tractors in tractorgate?).

    Bravo Peter for handling the maizegate modekha and professionally. You haven’t wounded anybody politically nor professionally (officially). If APM had fired Chaponda in the early stages, he would have wounded himself politically and could have suffered resistance from his own party. Kuyendetsa dziko sichibwana. So far APM has demonstrated his maturity in this.

    Anthu a khunyu ngati Kamulepo kalua sangathe kuchita zomwe wachita APM zi. Kaluwa Phuma too much ngati mwana.

    Bravo APM for the timely decision.

    1. Sodem says:

      Timely? Or desperate??

    2. Ngozo says:

      inu tapangani comment za nzeru, seriously if Kamulepo Kalua had not waken up the nation by telling the nation of this malpractice Chaponda did would you know that there was a maizegate taking place? Its the noise of the geniuses like him that have lead to this whole saga, so when commenting be wise and know things to their fullest. Sichifukwa kuti aChapondawo anakupatsaniko ganya kuti mugule malata kwanu kuja koma lets be realistic and positive to things, pple like u need education to understand things.

  30. Whatsup says:

    Mr. President, nthawi yonse timayankhula IJA mumadikira chani?

    Shame both to you and the derpated ex- minister of Agriculture.

    Never take Malawians for granted…….we are watching you.
    MCP is the only hope in as far as political leadership is concerned……kaya wina afune kaya asafune!

  31. Chilungamo Chimawawa says:

    Pali mbuzi ina yake pa Nyasa Times yo tchedwa dzina loti Santana. Where is this IDIOT today. He has been always defending Chaponda kumanena kuti Atumbuka nda mene akupangitsa zimenezi. My question is, Is Peter Mutharika mtumbuka????????????????????

  32. mtete says:

    Thanks APM. Please instruct Kondowe and Matemba to search the office and houses of Nankhumwa who were told was to be investigated in the light of revelations he made obscene donations in his constituency. Where did he get all that money. I don’t buy the nonsense it was from his savings. Others to be investigated are Mussa, Mwananvekha, Masangwi, Msaka. Chances are that you will make discoveries similar to those at Chaponda. Do this and I can guarantee you another 5 year term come 2019.

  33. jacoo says:

    ACB pliz don’t shield anyone if indeed u’re independent. why the president waiting our time to effect the firing earlier……….God will not spare u all take care………kkkkkkk

  34. Adzafunika says:

    That’s indeed the great move, let me also hear that his seat in Parliament is declared vacant so that the judiciary arm works on him freely and that the president is dragged there too to back his right arm. Apa tionenge kuti president wakuyimbika mulandu. It’s your turn now Chaponda, spill the beans onse adziwike basi. Mukamva ziiii ndaja pasi, tionana mu 2019

  35. Wawo says:

    Its clearly that the Big Kahuna wanted to shield Dr Chaponda but with the unfolding info, it’s equally difficult to save the Horse. If it was pone sacrificing would not have hard come.
    We need to love our country Mr Kahuna. The whole country cannot ransomed because of a single person, what allegiance does he owe this country.
    This so called “to be saved” has over and over again advanced tribalism and hatred. This taints DDP as a tribal party. Mr Kahuna you have gained a praise from the public though a bit late. All the luck Prof. Kahuna.

  36. Harry Bondo says:

    Peter, Peter, Peter Mutharika. Thanks for firing Chaponda. But you mean all this time you have not been thinking of his replacement.?This means you were not prepared to fire Chaponda but have been pushed to do so. If you were forward looking, you should have demonstrated this by immediately replacing Chaponda.

    Ndiye tisamve kuti wayika Mulomwe wina ayi. Show that the Govt is for all Malawians.

  37. FUN says:

    Wagwanayo Mr Maize

  38. Charlie says:

    Unbelievable! Can Mutharika really fire Chaponda, his right hand man? We all know what Mutharika is like, sooner or later, you we shall hear that Chaponda has been given a post in a foreign country! Let’s wait and see!!!!

    1. vumata says:

      Thats my thinking. Akupita ku embassy straight.

  39. Mtumbo says:

    that’s wat we have been waiting mr President Bravo I hope you re ready to be mentioned in Court

  40. ANALYST says:

    Its not only Chaponda! The entire DPP is a very corrupt adminstration! #DPPMustFall

  41. mbamva ipite ku ndende basi

  42. Frackson says:

    Nice move by the president. But Malawians are eagerly waiting for his arrest. The firing is a good move but that is not enough. Let him face the law.

  43. tunthu mfumbenge says:

    kale mmatani kudikila mdzi atafika mkhosi. apm,chaponda nonse mbamva zenizeni

  44. dumerang says:

    Ok ok ok we want imprisoned

  45. BANZWITO says:

    Birds of the same feathers! DPP full of foolish people! Thieves, arsonists, murderers ; your door is yawning and you will exit forever! Foolish party!

  46. Yakobo says:

    So should we continue waiting things to reach this point under this government before action is taken? The Mzuzu judge has been vindicated now. Any comment from Blantyre judge who shielded this Minister?

    1. Wa chaponda says:

      Judge Mwabungulu what are saying

  47. Nganali kombweke says:

    Sazaupezanso mpumulo

  48. Ronto says:

    There are more corrupt witches and wizards in this government, Agents of Lucifer, determined to inflict more misery on the lives of poor Malawians by enriching themselves. Yes we can not touch you, but God will never let Malawians suffer forever. This is just the beginning.

  49. Doreen Nkosi says:

    Chaponda is a selfish fool.

  50. Nabanda says:

    Bravo Mr President, this is what Malawians were looking for. Dziko limafuna mtsogoleri wachilungamo, onse oononga chipani ali mumaudindo muwachotse bwana,

  51. CeeKay says:

    Long at last the right hand man is fired!…. ife azimbambo a DPP Chaponda watikodzesa ku toilet ya Azimayi. Zamanyazi kwabasi. Thumbs up to the President for listening to the will of the people.

  52. chippo says:

    munthalika waponda chaponda

  53. Falliot says:

    sad development, for a political career of George chaponda….

  54. Apao Kugola says:

    Matako apakana nsete. Chaponda wont perish alone. Parliament should start procedures to impeach the president on corruption allegations in order to pave way for the ACB to investigate him. This will be done by repealing some of the constitutional powers that the president vested upon the corrupt president. Simdyeka lero wadyeka ndi nyanga zomwe.

    Malawi must use Ukraine style of People Power. The president must go. And no opposition leader must celebrate because the whip is going that direction. Almost all politicians in Malawi are corrupt. The broom must continue sweeping in all corners of the political room.

    Mulungu wathu Mphambe, Chisumphi, Namalenga, Chiuta, Mlezi, Kami sama, Allah and God is answering the cries of the poor masses dying in poverty, hunger and deprivation pomwe agalu a DPP akungoba like nobody’s business.

    The Fearless Samurai


    Good Mr president

  56. Wawa Chapo says:

    Zimayenera kutero. Koma a ACB should involve other institutions to investigate this issue. Don’t be greedy. Use the expertise of Financial Intelligence Authority, Malawi Police service (CID Department), Malawi Revenue Authority Investigations and Audit to find out the source of this money, and the Office of the Assets declarations. don’t underrate Chaponda please.

  57. chaponda says:

    Too late!!! Mumabera limodzi.

  58. Mphondo Zagadabuka says:


  59. ndondwa says:

    This is what every bonafide malawian was expecting from Peter Muntharika nothing short of this koma asasiyire pomwepa it should trickle down to evveryone involved kaya ndi Goodall Gondwe akunenedwayo apumitsidwe basi. At least I can smile for Peter for today only

  60. Thoko Evance says:

    you did wel Mr President….

  61. Kaphera Choka says:

    Too late!

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