The idea that envy should be taken away from the country’s national anthem is liked by many people including Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda who claims people making calls for him to resign over the Malawi- Zambia maize scam have personal vendettas against him.
The minister made the remarks in response to calls by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as well some influential civil society organizations that he should resign together with Agriculture Marketing and Development Corporation (Admarc) Chief Executive Officer, Foster Mulumbe.
The scam involving the 100, 000 metric tonnes of maize that government through Admarc procured from Zambia using a Parliament-approved loan obtained from the PTA Bank has been the basis for the calls.
It is believed that if proper procedures were followed — without engaging a middleman — Admarc would be selling the staple grain at a price lower than the current K12,500 per 50 kilogramme bag.
But Chaponda has hit back at the calls saying he is not ready to step down because he is not part of the scam. He said he only went to Zambia to work on the policy part of the deal but was not involved in the purchase of the maize.
“The set up here does not see me doing the actual purchase of materials like maize. I only went to Zambia for the policy part of the deal. You may wish to know that I was negotiating with Zambia to allow us export the maize. In the end the WFP was allowed to do the work,” Chaponda told a local radio station on Tuesday.
He added: ’’In our national anthem, there is talk for us to be free of jealousy, this is it. Why do people hate me this much?. When I was foreign affairs Minister they wanted me out of office saying I traveled too much. What actually do they want from me?’’ But the pressure organization maintains they will bay for the blood of the two as they are believed to have been at the helm of the whole process.
Malawi24 is also following reports that Mulumbe is not ready to step down.
Meanwhile, President Peter Mutharika has appointed a Commission of Inquiry into the matter.
He has also appointed new Board members of the State-grain trader.
The commission has been given up to 31st January 2017 to have a report on the matter, which some analyst have said is one of the scandals that are making the Mutharika administration unpopular.