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George Chaponda, Patricia Kaliati miss out on cluster meetings

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Embattled former Agriculture minister George Chaponda and former Civic Education minister Patricia Kaliati have not been allocated to parliamentary committees, months after they were separately fired from Cabinet portfolios.

Chaponda has been staying at home the whole week Parliament went into cluster meetings while Kaliati said she just decided to join the Women Caucus on her own.

“I did not want to just stay at home, so I decided to join the Women Caucus,” said Kaliati in an interview on Sunday.

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The government chief whip is supposed to allocate legislators sitting on the government side in the House committees.

Leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa said the government Chief Whip, Henry Mussa, allocated Chaponda and Kaliati committees two weeks ago.

“The Chief Whip told me that he had allocated Honourable Chaponda to the Legal Affairs Committee while Honourable Kaliati was allocated to the Media, Information and Communications Committee,” said Nankhumwa.

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Chaponda could not be reached for comment but Kaliati said she had not been communicated to on her new committee.

The cluster meetings will run for two weeks.

Chaponda was fired as Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development minister after two state-sponsored inquiries suggested he had a hand in the Zambia maize purchase deal which also involved top Admarc officials.

Kaliati was unceremoniously dropped from the Cabinet after reports she had a scuffle with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary general Grazider Jefrey.

Both Chaponda and Kaliati, founding members of the DPP, remain powerful and influential figures in the ruling party.

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