Mutharika has no spine to fire ‘bulldozer’ Chaponda, opposition say: Malawi/Zambia ‘maizegate’

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Peoples Party have lashed out at President Peter Mutharika for saying he would not fire Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister Gorge Chaponda on allegations he had a hand in Zambia/Malawi maizegate.

Chaponda says ‘I will never, on my own, resign’ and President  Mutharika has no spine to fire the ‘Bulldozer’

The opposition is reacting following the statement by Mutharika on Friday at Kamuzu Palace during the swearing in ceremony of the commission of inquiry officials on the maizegate that he would not act on allegations to fire Chaponda and suspend the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) CEO Foster Mulumbe on the same infamous maizegate issue.

MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila said any civilised and progressive leader would have asked Chaponda and Mulumbe to step aside to allow the inquiry go on smoothly.

“This decision by the President is questionable. There are more questions than answers,” said Kabwila.

Peoples Party (PP) spokesperson Noah Chimpeni said leaving Chaponda and Mulumbe in their positions would compromise the investigations and the outcome of the inquiry results.

Chaponda and Mulumbe  are alleged to have indulged in corruption. But they deny any wrong doing.

Chimpeni said PP are “dismayed” with the development.

“We expected the President to relieve the Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda of his duties to allow smooth investigations . How can Malawians expect the Commission to do its job without interference when the Minister is still in his office? He is likely to interfere with their work .

“The man is already busy bellyaching trying to defend himself before the Commission starts its work. The people appointed to do the work are people of high integrity, and highly qualified. However they will be working in a highly politically polluted environment as such Malawians may be given a raw deal ,” said PP spokesman.

Chimpeni continued: “May be we are expecting too much from the President. He may not have the spine to ask Chaponda to step aside or at least push him .

“The main problem is that most of the current crop of minister were appointed based on two facts : Some spent a night in a police cell in Lumbadzi , others were by his side when he was bereaved. Therefore the President may be thinking of that . By so doing he is putting the minister first , Malawians second. “

However, chairman of the inquiry, Justice Anastanzia Msosa (retired) said the inquiry commissioners will do their job without fear or favour.

President Mutharika has given the commissioners up to January 31 to come up with the results into the inquiry how Admarc procured the 100000 metric tonnes maize.

A few months ago, Head of DfID for West and Southern Africa and the UK based executive director of Oxfarm accused Admarc of failures in transparency and accountability in the procurement of the maize.

Government claims it has not paid a single kwacha on the maize.

Mutharika instituted a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the scam in which Admarc reportedly bought maize at K26 billion from the Zambian company and it is believed that Malawi could have saved about K9.5 billion if it had bought the grain directly from the Zambian government.

The use of a middleman, Kaloswe, is raising suspicion when Malawi government is on record to have said Chaponda was in discussion with the Zambian government over the maize deal, and at some point, engaged in discussions directly with Zambian President Edgar Lungu.

The commission is being chaired by former Chief Justice Anastazia Msosa, Solicitor General Janet Banda, auditor Isaac Kayira and Mike Chinoko.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Yankho Yapuwa
Guest
Suspending an officer to pave way for an investigation is how the normal order of things operate. How do you investigate someone who is still in power? They have all the opportunity to either directly or indirectly have any evidence disappear or tamper with it. If he is cleared after the investigation, well and good he can resume his duties but in order to have a meaningful investigation these two have to go for sure. A parallel case in mind in Australia a minister, Ms Ley, who is ACCUSED of using tax-payers money for her personal use has stepped aside… Read more »
Ndata
Guest

You can’t expect APM to fire Chaponda. Its Chaponda who can fire APM kkkkk. Simunadziwebe?

Zifome
Guest

Tisamafunire ena zoipa akawachosa ntchito inu mupindula chani?Akadya mmakwanu?Amphawi inu njilu basi munya muona azimwale inu .

Fabiano Kamanga
Guest

IT IS ONLY IN MALAWI WHERE YOU INSTITUTE A COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY ON THE CABINENT MINISTER WHEN THE OWNER IS STILL IN OFFICE. WHAT A SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHY HAVE THE ENQUIRY IN THE FIRST PLACE AND WHAT IS THE MOTIVE? WHERE ELSE ON EARTH DOES THAT HAPPEN?

CIVIL SERVANT
Guest

why is it that in the civil service when one is accused of the same offence as the minister is being accused of, or any other criminal offence or negligence, s/he is interdicted from work with half pay to allow investigations take place and is only re-instated when the investigation proves that there was no offence committed. shouldn’t this rule also be applied to ministers and the
“politically”connected?

Jijo
Guest

For your information, Admarc CEO Mlumbe is related to Peter Mutharika. They are cousins. So don’t expect Mlumbe to be incriminated in the report. Nepotism ija kuyipa kwake nkumeneku.

h.
Guest

Sure

Kenkkk
Guest

They are all in it. So they can’t fire each other.

Mwananyanian
Guest

APM is not only being fair, he’s also being prudent. His legal mind kicks in, especially when faced with situations like this. Legal processes are naturally slow; and the system should be allowed to take its course. No hurrying here.
Contrary to some insinuations, there is no “wakwithu” syndrome here. Let the inquiry Commission do its job. If people were fired for wild claims and innuendos like these, then, let’s face it, none of us would have a job. Detractors: sober up, will you? What have you been smoking?

Thinktank
Guest

Mutharika is puppet of Chaponda….. The man Mutharika is just there to sayify ego he is president..as he accumulates cash for his old age…..You really think Mutharika cares??

Mweto okhweene
Guest
I doubt that both Chaponda and Mutharika know what they are doing. Listen to a lot of preachings in most of the catholic churches today. They say we Lhomwes should not appoint one another because of tribal lines. Mohiwa, alhomwe akhwaaka (Have you heard, my fellow Lhomwes). Something is in the cook up in this church. We better be on the look out. Remember, it is the same church that brought down Bakili Muluzi. When Bingu Mutharika tried to fight the same church, he died of cardiac arrest. In DRC, Kabila is on his way out because of the bishops.… Read more »
wpDiscuz

More From Nyasatimes