Did APM need ACB or K166 million to fire George Chaponda?


George Chaponda fell from grace on Wednesday.

This was after ACB executed a search and seizure warrant on his house where they found wads of cash totaling K124 million and $57,000 as well as other small foreign dominations.

It is quite strange that Chaponda was keeping such a huge amount of money at home. More strange and mind boggling is the question of where he got the money.


What kind of business does he do whose day’s intake would go as high as K166 million?

When all is said, done and dusted, Chaponda must face the law. There is just too much on him at the moment, and, being a country that is governed by the rule of law, Chaponda’s destination or abode should be the courts but via a police cell.

He must answer for the crimes he is accused of; crimes that border on fraud, abuse of office and corruption.


A lot of plaudits have been heaped on ACB for the action they took on Chaponda on Tuesday which led to the discovery of the wads of cash.

I have been hard on ACB in this column and I make no apologies for that for I believed then that the bureau was a pure waste of taxpayers’ money because I thought their modus operandi was to protect the corrupt and thieves in our country, instead of fighting them.

The stand I took then was based on empirical evidence showing the ACB’s inertia on corruption.

But on Tuesday we saw a different ACB that wanted to do the right thing and they did.

I repeat, what Malawians want to see on Chaponda is a date in court to answer for

the crimes that he is accused of committing against the people of Malawi and ACB should simply do their job.

I wish I would also swallow my words and say what I have said about ACB in regards to President Peter Mutharika and congratulate him for firing Chaponda.

Unfortunately, I cannot.

Throughout this maize scandal, Mutharika has shown his true colours as a lame duck president who cannot take difficult decisions. He has shown that he was bent on protecting Chaponda, come rain or sunshine, to the extent of shamelessly trying to reinstate him as Leader of the House.

This is was despite the fact that the President’s own commission of inquiry found that Chaponda’s behaviour, in respect of the importation of maize from Zambia, especially in his dealings with Transglobe, was “most inappropriate, suspicious and raising issues of corruption.”

Throughout this saga, the President has maintained his self denial that his government is swanky clean as far as issues of corruption are concerned and has proclaimed this to the world publicly.

He has backed his Cabinet to the hilt and declared that no one in it is corrupt.

The President even proclaimed to the world, hours before his own commission of inquiry presented a report that implicated Chaponda, to the effect that stories the media, led by Times Group, were writing, on the maize importation from Zambia, were useless and bent on tarnishing the image of this country.

Some hours later he had an egg all over his face when Justice Anastasia Msosa told him in the face that one of his trusted and senior ministers displayed the most inappropriate behaviour over the deal.

Simply put, the President pays lip service to the fight against corruption and is bent on protecting his cronies.

He fired Chaponda on Wednesday because he reached the end of the tether on the man.

What broke the camel’s back was the stash of money Chaponda was keeping as discovered by ACB.

The President did not know what next would pop up in this running saga of the blunder-prone Chaponda.

In the final analysis, I repeat what I have already said. We have a lame duck president who takes ages to make a decision.

While he is at it, the trust that Malawians have in him is highly compromised.

It is not nice to have a president who is forced to do the right thing. He did not need to wait for the ACB to find money on Chaponda before firing him.

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