Minister of agriculture, irrigation, and water development George Chaponda has challenged authorities to probe him over the maizegate scandal saying he is innocent.
Speaking on the local press on Sunday, Chaponda said his role in the purchase of maize from Zambia was facilitating the process of importation of the staple grains.
Chaponda argued that he was surprised to hear reports that he is involved in dubious transactions in the maize procurement process.
“Ndipo ine ndinali odabwisidwa kumva kuti ma CSOs ena apita kukapeza chiletso kuti ine andisiyise unduna chifukwa ndaba ndalama zokwana K9.9 billion, ha ha. Ine ndinapita ku Zambia kawiri ndipo sindinapange kanthu kokhuzana ndi Ndalama, Ndalama za chimanga zili ku bank, za cashgate mesa zimapezeka ndi anthu, ine anandipeza ndi Ndalama? or apange kafukufuku palibe cholakwa changa. (I was surprised to hear that some CSOs applied for an injunction restraining me arguing that am involved in looting of maize funds amounting to K9.9 billion, ha ha. I was in Zambia twice but I had nothing to do with money, cashgate money was found with people have they found me with money?),” said Chaponda.
He further wondered why people have not faulted World Food Program (WFP) for buying maize used for humanitarian aid at $410 per metric tonne arguing that the $345 price was better.
Chaponda is being accused to have swindled money through conniving with traders in Zambia to overcharge government so that the huge profits money could be shared with the traders.
Meanwhile a report by a commission of inquiry on the maize deal has recommended that Chaponda must be probed on his dealings in the process of buying maize.
The report revealed irregularities that were made by Admarc and Chaponda in buying the staple grains.