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Speeding Malawi will leave behind Peter Mutharika, George Chaponda

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Things are moving very fast; in fact, so fast that I fear our aged leaders; President Peter Mutharika (APM) and his dismissed Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development minister George Chaponda would be left behind.

Just weeks ago, we had Maizegate reports, a week ago, we had the unexplained fire at Capital Hill and Tuesday, the graft-busting body, the Anti- Corruption Bureau pounced on the beleaguered Chaponda.

Then, we hear K166 million was found in Chaponda’s residence in Area 43, Lilongwe.

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Some sections of Malawians, including yours truly, have been agitating for the removal of Chaponda from Parliament on the basis that njoka saweta.

However, we have been labelled all sorts of names: we have hatred for Mutharika, we are not patriotic, we just hate the ruling Democratic Progressive Party etc.

But look how embarrassing it has been for our old good APM, to have the house of his most powerful minister and close ally Chaponda raided by ACB and police, in the process discovering stashes of money amounting to K166 million.

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If this happened in developed countries, I am sure the President and Chaponda would have resigned and snap elections could have been on the cards.

This is the worst time for Mutharika, this is the worst time for Chaponda, this is the worst time for the DPP and this is the worst time for Malawi.

However, at the end of the day, Mutharika and Chaponda will go, whether they like it or not, but Malawi will prevail.

We had great leaders in Malawi that when they talked, the nation moved and shook but they are no longer here with us; they are gone to the graves.

What I am trying to drive at is that Mutharika should do things for the interest of Malawians and their Malawi not to appease Chaponda and the President’s inner circle.

What happened on Tuesday – the discovery of K166 million in Chaponda’s residence – is reason enough to fire him from the cabinet and this is very embarrassing.

It is embarrassing not only to the government and APM but even to the family of Chaponda.

I am not, therefore, surprised that Chaponda’s son, Daliso, the comedian, purportedly posted this on his Facebook wall: “My Facebook message box has been filling with all kinds of toxic abusive messages from Malawi, so I will not be checking it for a while. If you are a friend, you should know my number so contact me that way. If you are a promoter and it’s about a gig, contact acts@ laughterhousecomedy.com.”

I am very surprised that Mutharika, State House, Office of the President and Cabinet or Ministry of Information has not come forward to condemn Chaponda for his tribalistic and regionalistic statements regarding the Maizegate.

I know that APM sometimes takes his time when dealing with issues of national importance.

He unveiled his cabinet in bits and pieces.

Actually, he gave us his piecemeal cabinet after pressure from Parliament as the House failed to transact business because there were no cabinet ministers except for Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe and the then Information minister Kondwani Nankhumwa.

It took the President time to fire Gerald Viola as his press secretary after some sections of society were up in arms against him, accusing the former press secretary of smashing bridges instead of building them as a link between State House and the media.

Now, we have Chaponda, the powerful cabinet minister. I am sure it was a matter of time before he would be shown the exit door from the cabinet.

APM does not want to be seen as succumbing to public pressure. However, the more APM delayed to sack Chaponda from the cabinet, the more the minister was dividing the country.

As the Malawi Law Society has said, it is wrong and bad for Chaponda to drag in issues of regionalism and tribalism in this maize saga.

No one is targeting him because he comes from the South; that is silly thinking.

Judge Anastasia Msosa who headed the presidential commission of inquiry is not from the North; she is from the South.

Joseph Chidanti-Malunga who chaired the parliamentary inquiry on Maizegate is not from the North, he is proudly southerner.

These two inquiries found Chaponda ’s engageme n t with Transglobe suspicious, inappropriate and raising issues of corrupt practices.

We all know that as pressure mounted to have him fired as minister, he was cornered, in the process losing some normal senses. However, that is not an excuse for him to divide the country. Chaponda is no bigger or larger than Malawi.

He is just one of the sons of Malawi just like any ordinary Malawian. After all, Charles Kajoloweka took the matter to court not as a northerner but as a concerned Malawian.

Judge John Chirwa delivered his ruling on the matter not as a person from the North but as judge of the High Court of Malawi.

So, all this ranting and nonsense from Chaponda, dragging in issues of tribalism and regionalism are senseless.

People from the South and North are one, they are all Malawians, no single mortal soul should divide them.

What Chaponda is doing is simply to have the Lhomwes and people from the South rise against people from the North; he is using a divide-and-rule tactic which must be condemned.

Actually, he should be charged for a criminal offence.

Chaponda is doing everything with impunity because he knows he has all the backing from Mutharika.

If you want evidence, well, I have it handy. Here is what Mutharika said a week or so ago at Kamuzu International Airport: “We should stop writing negative stories about our country. For example, the issue of maize is useless, it is false. We have wasted a lot of time talking about it, yet there is nothing wrong which happened.”

As I said earlier, and there is no harm in repeating, the President and Chaponda will not cope with the speeding Malawi.

They will likely be left behind as Malawi cruises for a better Malawi, a corrupt-free Malawi!

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