Speaker steps into maizegate scandal

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:46:33 +0000



SPEAKER of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini has directed Choma Central Member of Parliament Cornelius Mweetwa to convert his point of order into an oral question for written answers following his complaints over Government’ silence on the Malawi maizegate scandal.

Dr. Matibini ordered Mr Mweetwa who is UPND Member of Parliament for Choma Central that for him to have a focused response from Government, he needed to put it in writing so that the Speaker could direct the questions to the executive to respond on the floor of the House.

This was after Mr Mweetwa raised a point of order that whereas the Malawian authority had taken action by dismissing its Minister of Agriculture, the Zambian government had remained mute over the matter, leaving the media and the citizens to continue speculating.

On Wednesday, Malawi’s Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, George Chaponda was fired by President Peter Mutharika, the first top government figure to be pushed out to pave way for smooth investigations towards the suspicious maize purchase from Zambia.

Several quarters including the Malawi Law Society, opposition Members of Parliament and the civil society community had been asking President Mutharika to fire Chaponda for his involvement and implication in the controversial maize deal.

Yesterday, the matter come up in the Zambian Parliament when Mr Mweetwa complained before the Speaker that in the recent past the Zambian people had been subjected to various continuous media reports with respect to what exactly transpired in the Malawi/Zambia maizegate scandal.

Mr Mweetwa, who is former Parliamentary chairperson for Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said a report from the Malawian Parliamentary select committee came up with their various recommendations and laid it on the table of the House.

Mr Mweetwa said he could not, however, request the Minister of Agriculture Ms Dora Siliya to respond given that she was conflicted as the report mentions her ministry.

“I seek your serious ruling Sir, I thank you?” Mr Mweetwa said.

But in his response, Dr. Matibini said it was clear that Mr Mweetwa’s point of order was premised on media reports.

“In order to have the focused response that you require, I direct that you write to my office questions which I will forward to the executive for response,” Dr Matibini said.


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