Tuesday, 28 March 2017
 
George Chaponda George Chaponda Image sourced at malawi24.com

Malawi Minister Reveals More Names Entangled In Maize Saga

Written by  Written By Stephen DAKALIRA Feb 08, 2017

Suspended Agriculture Minister George Chaponda insists his trip to Zambia accompanying an ADMARC delegation was purely to offer policy direction on the botched maize deal with that country.

He spoke when appearing before a joint parliamentary committee that has been tasked with investigating corruption allegations surrounding the deal between the local grain marketer and Kaloswe Commuters and Courier of Zambia.

Chaponda had snubbed an initial call up by the committee last month, alleging that he had received the communication late.

It is claimed that a whooping $35 Million was spent, though ADMARC could have forked out a mere $21 Million had it gone with the initial arrangement of buying from the Zambia Cooperative Federation – ZCF.

Chaponda’s name and that of ADMARC CEO Foster Mulumbe kept coming up when the matter was first raised in the public domain.

Mulumbe was sent on forced leave, while the High Court had to restrain Chaponda from discharging his ministerial duty to pave way for investigations.

The number of government top officials entangled in the Zambia Maize Scandal is on the rise, following revelations by the suspended agriculture minister.

This is not the first time that Chaponda is courting controversy as a government minister.

In August last year, he escaped by a whisker after an angry mob comprising community members in Mulanje stoned his entourage that was in the area to facilitate the planned tapping of water from Likhubula River by the Blantyre Water Board.

He confirms to have made the initial trip to Zambia for the botched ADMARC Maize deal.

The bulldozer, as Chaponda is sometimes referred to, further implicates Finance minister Goodall Gondwe as having been key in facilitation of payments for the planned maize purchase.

He claims to have been dispatched as a special envoy to Zambia by President Mutharika later on, after observing that things were moving at a slow pace in the maize purchase deal between ADMARC and Kaloswe.

Without necessarily trying to pass judgement, Malawians are anxiously waiting to see that justice prevails in the issue.

 

They will however have to wait until next week when the joint parliamentary committee will formally present a report on its findings in Parliament where legislators are meeting for the mid-year budget review.

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