Officials treating fire at Chaponda’s office as accident

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water development say they are treating the fire that gutted down the office of the minister George Chaponda at Capital Hill in Lilongwe, as an accident.

Eyes up: Police chief Kachama and others watch the progress as fire fighters take contorl.-Photo by Kondwani Magombo, Mana

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal secueity Grace Chiumia being briefed by the police on the fire incident . – Pic. By Kondwani Magombo

Spokesperson for the ministry Halmiton Chimala said people should not make rushed conclusions on the fire.

“As of now we are treating this as an accident until investigators give us a report,” he said.

He said this was not the first time the fire has gutted the offices. The fire gutted the offices of the minister and the principal secretary and some directors when the graft busting body, the Anti Corruption Bureau is investigating Chaponda on suspicious corrupt practices over the procurement of maize from Zambia.

The Inspector General of Police Lexter Kachama, Home Affairs minister Grace Chiumia and secretary to Office of President and Cabinet Lloyd Muhara were among top government officials who rushed to the fire scene at Capital Hill in Lilongwe.

Some members of staff said the fire started from a socket where a plasma TV screen of the minister is connected.

Special assistant tot the  minister Simon Boyce said a messanger who was in the office of the minister’s secretary informed him that the fire started after a bolt of lightning arond 11am..

However, some people said although there was heavy down pour at the time the fire started, there were no lighting.

The police on the scene said it was too early to comment on the matter.

Chimala said Chaponda was safe as he had not been reporting for duties.

Inspector General (IG) of Police, Lexten Kachama, and some senior police officers witnessed the incident throughout.

Police  IG Kachama expressed his concern over the fire.

“This is very saddening considering how much has been damaged in this fire,” Kachama told reporters.

“We are yet to establish the cause of the fire,” he added.

Kachama expressed grateful to Lilongwe City Council, and General Griffin Supuni  Phiri of the Malawi Defence Force for “mobilizing support in time.”

Other cabinet ministers among them, Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development, Patricia Kaliati, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Grace Chiumia, and other government officials also came to witness the scene.

It is yet to be established how much property has been consumed in the fire and what really caused it.

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27 thoughts on “Officials treating fire at Chaponda’s office as accident”

  1. Iam a qualified electrician,there is no such in electrical engineering atleast if the fire started from a Main distribution board of the entire building Coz that’s where the earth leakage cicuirt breaker is, and mostly in such high profile buldings we install what we call lightning diverter, a device that protects the wiring from lightining ,whenever a lighting occur it holds the. power back for just that lightining moment and then brings it back again,it simply works like a fridge guard.

  2. bob says:

    amalawi tikakhala phee tidzifunse tokha kuti kodi ndichipani chiti chidzawine 2019,chanucho kapena changachi,osamangotukwana apa wina aliyense ndisapota wachipani chake kaya chikuchita zosakusangalatsa dzavote chidzawine.

  3. Ngalamayi says:

    An accident??? I bet incriminating documents were conveniently destroyed in this ‘accident’!

  4. chamba eti says:


    1. Judge Not says:

      What is surprising is that the same civic groups who were rubbishing the commission of inquiry established by the President to investigate the so called “maizegate” are now the same group that’s demanding APM to act on the recommendations of the commission of inquiry. All of a sudden the findings of the commission are now credible. God knows what would have been said if they had reported otherwise. Now the fire has gutted his offices he is guilty as charged. He had all the time in the world to destroy whatever evidence without having to burn down the building. Chaponda according to these assertions also made sure there was no water in the fire hydrants. Made sure no one answers the phone at the Fire Brigade offices until someone went to call them one hour after the fire had started. What trash. What surprising is even the Law Society are demanding for his scalp even in the face of glaring evidence that the led the Supreme Court to vacate the injunction by the so called civic groups. When does the ” presumption of innocence until found guilty apply”. I don’t care if he goes to Jail if found guilty. But not found guilty on social media.

  5. Mavi Patako says:

    ADMARC is NEXT, Watch OUT.

  6. chimwe says:

    eeee anduna a pa Malawi amenewo dressing yakeyo ayayaya kkkkkkkkkkk

    1. chawa says:

      eya ayenera kuvala choncho pa za dzidzi mudziona zakunja mmene zimakhalira uyu nde mmalawi timafuna ife osasitha mmeme munthu ulili ngakhale ukalemera … musiyeni mzimayi

  7. Dyomba says:

    kodi mwati mayi ali pafupi ndi apolice ndi minister koma abale

  8. Chilangwe says:

    Did u say the lady in black is a minister.?

  9. Omex70 says:

    Santana, or whatever you call yourself,you are a brother to the devil. You don’t see evil things happening in the country under your DPP led government? You want Malawians to be praising your DPP for the bad things that are happening in the country? God is watching. He will deliver Malawians from the hands of evil minded people in His own way and time.

  10. tozer tsono says:

    A lesson to never forget in Malawi investigations; when investigating high crime, aka, corruption, secure stations of evidence, protect the Njaujis holding evidence, and place video cameras in such places to monitor illicit activities. The ACB should have obtained summons to secure the offices or premises holding evidence. This onset of this fire could have been recorded, including who was the last person to visit the office, and for what purpose.
    Will ADMARC be next?

    1. kamulonde says:

      I ope so, ADMARC is next. Watch out.

  11. Hua Chi Pyun says:

    Minister Chiuma naye atavala zakezake ngati ogulitsa nthochi, abale tatiyeni tizikhalako serious ndi ntchito, personal presentation also matters kungokhala ngati mzimayi odula mowa pa Limbe tarven? asa!!!!

    1. kantama says:

      Ndipo this lady ndimadabwa naye bwanji.

    2. Aguga says:

      To rush to the scene of the accident palibe kuti I should look presentable zimatengela kuti uthenga unakupeza uli kuti?

  12. Hlabezulu Ngonoonda says:

    When government of late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda spent R 6 million from the Republic of South Africa in order to build
    government offices at Capital Hill, the Life President made it a point that safety and quality of the government offices should
    never be compromised by building contractors. To any person who has been to those beautiful, elegant and spacious offices
    knows that fire that broken out could possibly result from unnecesary extension wiring done by unqualified electricians. But
    the destruction of those offices as a result of an accidntal fire raises more questions than answers. It is the landlord’s obligation
    to do the repairs as would make the premises reasonably fit for office use. The building now looks like ESCOM house in

  13. santana says:

    Do you think when you burn the office it means you have burnt Chaponda? The man is safe and will be so till 2019 and will without doubt retain his constituency seat. Even if Chaponda gives up politics today the DPP will not be affected in any way. Why should people waste time on Chaponda as if he is DPP’s 2019 presidential candidate? Make stock and assess from the time Chaponda came to newsworthy if there is anything closer to weakening the DPP. Whatever happens to Chaponda the DPP will be going stronger by day and will win the 2019 elections.

    1. odya ban says:

      @Santana, do you know the meaning of going stronger? In which areas are your Chaponda and DPP going stronger. Koma abwana inu ngati mukudya za DPP koma mwaonjeza.


  14. Maizegate says:

    Stupid public officers. Who do you think your are fooling? Kutamba kapena chiyani?

  15. Chaka Demus says:

    We need to talk to this messenger. And where was the Secretary at that moment??

  16. mchemberezandonda says:

    amalawi adakagona sanadzuke, if this was south Africa bwenzi pano anthu ataonesa kale mkhwiyo wawo koma kuti nde kumaombera mmanja. this is a clear picture kuti anabadi and he knows that after ACB investigations he will be jailed, this is trying to hide evidence. lets wake up malawi pama issues ochita kuoneka ndimaso ngati awa.

  17. Chilungamo Chimawawa says:

    mbava ndi choncho!!!! everyone knows this fire was caused deliberately

    1. Damnit Chopi says:

      I want to comment on this: “However, some people said although there was heavy down pour at the time the fire started, there were no lighting. ”
      I can confirm that there was lighting here in Area 24 exactly on or before the fire started. The lighting might have extended probably to Capital Hill either causing or not causing the building to burn. Malawians are always speculators on issues of this nature forgetting that God does not speculate as he is righteous is his judgements. Take my word: everything bad that is happening now not only in Malawi but the world over will be put to condemnation.

      1. Jen says:

        Doesn’t the building have earthing? The issue of lightening can not rise if the is the case.

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