Youth for Positive Change (YPC), a grouping of Malawian young people is strongly calling for the ousting of agriculture minister George Chaponda from cabinet for “gross mismanagement of government coffers.”
The group is not only howling for the ousting of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) die-hard but also that that parliament should summon Chaponda so that he explains the missing billions of kwacha from the ministries of agriculture and foreign affairs – where he last served.
According to a statement seen by Nyasa Times, and co-signed by YPC chairperson Gerrard Nkhata, the group says they are “patriotic Malawians” who simply want the best for the country.
According to them, in the last two previous portfolios Chaponda has served, he has proved to be a “bad manager.”
At the Ministry of Agriculture where millions of public funds vanished into thin air, Nyasa Times understands, an audit instituted by the Ministry’s principal secretary Erica Maganga revealed that the mismanagement of funds was orchestrated by 75 workers at the ministry’s headquarters.
The group says the cashgate, which denotes the systematic skimming of millions of dollars of money from government payment system, is something that Chaponda should have worked on “first thing” he got to the ministry.
“So far the Ministry of Agriculture has proved to be very prone to cashgate, and if we are not careful the Minister [Chaponda] will have it all looted. He might not be the one looting per se but he has failed us in the past and should not be trusted,” reads the statement in part.
According to YPC, what Chaponda is doing at the Ministry of Agriculture reflects exactly what happened during his time at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; where, again, he was involved in “another scandal during a trip to the United Nations General Assembly.”
Adds the statement: “The nation remembers that Capitol Hill told us they only took 20 people in an interview with The Nation which Chaponda confirmed despite being a lie. Why are we still keeping such a person? Why are we promoting him? What are the youth learning from this? What are we communicating to tax payers?”
During the tour Chaponda claimed the delegates had been paid for by various organisations, a thing that was also questioned by various quarters.
Eventually, investigations revealed that about 100 delegates attended the meeting.
“If people had voted for him, maybe they would have taken up the matter themselves but it is the MPs and the President that they voted for and these should do something,” the statement says.
For a trip outside Africa, we have learnt, daily allowance for the President is $500 (about K285 000). A Cabinet Minister gets $400 (about K228 000), principal secretaries pocket $300 (about K171 000) while any officer below the position of director gets $280 (about K159 000).
The figures amount to an average of $370 (about K220 000) per day per person and that means an estimate of K564 million for 121 people for 21 days.
Chaponda is reportedly being groomed to take over the mantle of the DPP leadership when incumbent Pres Peter Mutharika retires in 2024.
He hinted in an interview with Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) about two months ago.
And he has started meeting chiefs in the southern region to engage them in his bid to become next leader.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :