Wednesday, 26 April 2017
 
The First couple donning party attire The First couple donning party attire Image sourced at faceofmalawi.com

Chaponda’s Dismissal Rocking Malawi’s Ruling Party

Written by  Written By Rhodes MSONKHO Mar 20, 2017

Cracks are emerging in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) over the firing of George Chaponda from the cabinet a month ago.

Camps have reportedly emerged in the party, with some sympathising with the axed minister.

On the 22nd February, President Peter Mutharika painfully fired Chaponda as Agriculture minister, a few hours after Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) investigators recovered millions of cash in the minister’s house in Lilongwe.

There were signs of reluctance in Mutharika to have Chaponda booted out of cabinet, for what commentators claimed was attempts by the Presidency to protect the minister.

There were reasons for this reluctance; Chaponda was there for the party during difficult times.

These include during the arrest of Mutharika and some of his lieutenants, the midnight six.

These are ministers who were accused of attempting to overthrow the government in 2012 during Joyce Banda’s reign.

The party was allegedly grooming Chaponda as its future torch bearer either for 2019 or 2024.

According to inside sources, some DPP members feel Chaponda was let down.

They allege that Chaponda’s downfall was masterminded from within the DPP.

Since his firing from Cabinet, Chaponda has not said anything.

In an earlier interview with Capital FM however, Chaponda poured out his frustration;

“Here is a country, 53 years after independence and we are considered the poorest country in the whole world, and we spend our time abusing ourselves, fighting ourselves instead of concentrating on development.”

“Development should have been a preoccupation for everybody”, Chaponda lamented.

The ACB however insists their actions were not politically driven.

Egritta Ndala who speaks for the bureau stressed the graft busting body works according to its mandate which are clearly spelled out in the Corrupt Practices Act.

And if someone wants the act to be revised, they have the right to do so, by proposing to the people that are responsible for the review of the laws.

When contacted, the DPP Secretary General Grelzedar Jeffrey declined to comment on the matter.

The party’s spokesperson Francis Kasaila was not immediately available.

He earlier told Capital FM that the President has time and again said he would act on anybody found involved in corrupt practices provided he is provided with facts and not speculation.

 

This obviously is one of the things the party needs to address as it prepares for the 2019 elections.

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