Solicitor General (SG) and Secretary for the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Janet Chikaya Banda has staged a walk out of presidential commission of inquiry on the Zambia maize saga after members of the civil society organisations (CSOs) criticised her on comments she posted on social media platform, Facebook.
CSO leaders called a spade a spade questioning the independence of the commissioners as they deemed Banda’s comments on Facebook as improper when she seemed to imply that the Judiciary was clueless on its powers and functions.
Banda’s post followed the High Court order stopping Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda from carrying out his duties pending findings of the commission of inquiry on the maizegate.
She wrote that Malawi was in a “democracy of anarchy” where “some of the three branches of government don’t know exactly what their powers and functions are.”
The CSO questioned commission whether their findins will be respected considering the bias that Solictor General showed by publicly supporting Chaponda in her criticism of the court’s decision and that Minister Chaponda is defying court order.
But Solicitor Genreral stormed out of the inquiry room in protest when the CSO team openly declared her Facebook post as “unnecessary, untimely, immature and unfortunate.”
She was seen walking out of the room hitting tables and making vile remarks as she found her way out.
Malawi Law Society (MLS) already rebuked Chikaya Banda’s remarks as blatantly undermining the decision of the court, describing it as a reckless and a regrettable assault on the Judiciary.
Meanwhile, the Commission of Inquiry says it will be going to Zambia for more investigations on how State-produce trader Admarc procured the grain from Zambia.
Secretary of the Inquiry Mike Chinoko said inquiry officials would be able to gather the needed information on the maize procurement.
“We are still discussing as to when we can go to Zambia,” he said.
The parliamentary inquiry officials on the maizegate also say they will head to Zambia on the same probe of how Admarc bought maize from Zambia.
Chinoko said the decision to go to Zambia will not affect its work and the inquiry will meet the January 31 deadline.
He defended the decision of the inquiry to hold the hearing in camera.
“Some people cannot be comfortable to give the evidence live on radio or television,” he said.
Chinoko said the decision to hold the hearing in camera was reached at by the commission members.
Some sections of Malawians think Minister Chaponda and Admarc CEO were involved in suspicious dealings in the procurement of the maize, allegations both the minister and the chief executive officer deny any wrong doing.
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