Ministry of Agriculture goofed on Minister Chaponda ‘contradictory’ statements on maizegate, says PS Maganga

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Erica Maganga has come in defence of Minister George Chaponda, saying it is the ministry which made mistakes in the press release giving contradictory statements in the misprocurement of maize from Zambia.

PS of Agriculture Erica Maganga: The ministry goofed on dates

Malawi’s flagship newspaper, The Daily Times  had put Chaponda on spotlight after he claimed he went to Zambia on two occasion to discuss the maize deal  when  he led a three man delegation on 8th May, 2016  and then on 11th December, 2016, as a special Envoy of the President Peter Mutharika to meet Zambian leader Edgar Lungu.

But the newspaper in its story titled ‘Chaponda lied onmaize deal’,  says the minister  might have been to Zambia “more than twice”.

The paper noted that the dates Chaponda mentions “contradicts” with what President Peter Mutharika said on October 21, 2016 at a news conference upon returning to UN summit.

The President is quoted saying on October 21 that Chaponda was in Zambia signing maize purchase deal with President Lungu.

Meanwhile, Maganga told Nyasa Times in an interview that Chaponda went to Zambia only twice as a Special Envoy to President Mutharika only to discus maize deal.

“The Minister went to Zambia in May and October  2016 [and not December]. The ministry has to be blamed for giving wrong date of December, we mixed the Zambian trip with Mbeya Tanzania trip where the minister went to sign for Songwe River Basin Water Development Program,” said Maganga.

Chaponda said he was happy that the ministry has clarified about the dates and they are now on the same page because that is what he has been telling Malawians all along.

The Minister maintained  his involvement was minimal as the main buyer of the maize was the Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) and not his ministry.

There has been calls from civil society organisation (CSOs) for Chaponda  and Admarc chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe to resign and pave the way for investigations into the issue.

The minister has flatly refused to resign, denying any wrong doing.

Meanwhile,  deputy director of information Gideon Munthali has since said there is no way a Minister can resign based on hearsays.

Munthali said the President has set the commission of Inquiry to establish the truth on what really happened.

“So let’s give chance to the commission of inquiry,” said Munthali.

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citizen
Guest
This is the problem with our MP’S regardless of the party they belong ,They would have stand up to tell the President ,This Minister need to be given forced leave in order to have a smooth investigation, this man you call President is not serious with this issue, the so called [commission of Inquiry} need room to investigate, after all this is a big theft case of public finance .The President needs to know he is serving the country not the party. The key role of his duties is to serve Malawians at large .
RICHMAN
Guest

If Chaponda do resign the commission of inquiry will establish the truth so he will remain in office to hide the evidence and the President can not fire Chaponda becoz they r both thieves

Nganga
Guest

Chaponda and Mulumbe should resign we are tired of them(thieves)apa zikuonekelathu that our president is backing for them.Zautsilu basi.

santana
Guest
At first the opposition was claiming that there is hunger in this country and the president should do something to save Malawians. The opposition even alleged that people have started dying of hunger. They thought that APM will fail to bring-in maize. Now that the staple food is brought in the country the opposition is trying to belittle the good job that is why all this nonsense talk of Chaponda, chaponda, chaponda. If people are not buying maize from ADMARC as you say, where are they getting the maize for food? We have not reached the harvest period yet, you… Read more »
Chengolopiyo
Guest

Erica any press release before being published is scrutinized (carefully cross-checked) by a PS. If you failed to do so then you should also resign as a PS because you cannot be trusted. Why back a hyena, frog like Chaponda? Nonsense just resign Chaponda.

Teklewold
Guest
We can all now see that Peter and Chaponda are indeed crooks. Chaponda is now pressuring ministry officials to make up stories. That is why the calling for him to step down pending investigations was necessary. In this situation neither the PS nor the ministry is to blame for coming out to cover Chaponda up because they also need to save their jobs. The blame should rather go to President and/or all Malawians to allow Chaponda to continue enjoy the privilege of running the ministry while he is being investigated. It is only in Malawi where such a thing can… Read more »
Yona
Guest

It’s simple:

You resign and pave way for investigation. When you are cleared, you can still be appointed a minister.

Why is it so hard in Africa?

Kanga
Guest

Who paid for Chaponda’s press release. Seems TAX payers footed the blill

veteran
Guest

Madam P/S t’s sad that your backing won’t appease us. Where were you all along.We can’t and will never trust a single word from your mouth.Just shut up you crooked hyena
The country is in shit and you think this is fun bull sheet
Have you read what is been written in Zambian newspapers on maizegate ? Read and you will get the truth. Shame on you

mann
Guest

Dr Gerald Shawa writes ‘Maganga ndi mulhomwe, Chaponda ndi mulhomwes so’. This reveals alot. Nkhani yakula apa ndi nsanje and kaduka. Mmafuna akanakhala achewa kapena atumbuka? Muyaluka simunati. DPP is here to stay.

wpDiscuz

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