Fired Agriculture Minister George Chaponda is involved in a dog fight with his eleven nieces and nephews over ownership of a farm that belonged to their late father, Malawi News has learnt.
Eye brows were raised recently about Chaponda’s wealth after ACB executed a search and seizure warrant on him in connection with the importation of maize from Zambia. K166 million was found in his house at Area 43 in Lilongwe
Malawi News last week published details of Chaponda’s wealth after applying to the Office of the Director of Public Officer’s Declarations to access his file.
We reported that Chaponda has several farms and one of them is called Kasinje in Ntcheu District.
But the nieces and nephews alleged this week that when their father, Luis, who was Chaponda’s elder brother, died in 2007, the ex-minister visited the family and read out a “fake” will which stated that he was the administrator of the deceased’s estate.
Six months later, the children claim that they learnt that the minister was processing change of ownership and name of the farm.
According to the children, the 197 acre farm is worth about K70 million and was initially called Wiwanana Estate, but Chaponda renamed it Kasinje farm.
One of the nephews, Limbani Chaponda claims he wrote a letter to the then president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, seeking his intervention.
But he claims the minister convinced the president that the issue was sorted out.
The nephew later sued Chaponda through Ralph and Arnolds law firm.
Limbani alleged in an interview this week that Chaponda sent people to threaten him at the College of Medicine, where he was studying.
“My uncle was very powerful. I was helpless and this forced me to put the case on hold, for me to complete my studies first. He threatened to deal with me even if it meant having me withdrawn from the college,” Limbani said.
Limbani said the family was surprised that Kasinje Farm was listed as one of Chaponda’s many properties in last week’s Malawi News.
Efforts to speak to Chaponda this week proved futile as his phones were out of reach.
We tried calling him through his wife’s phone number who promised to call us back but never did.
But sources close to Chaponda confided in us that the issue was sorted out a long time ago as he bought the farm from the deceased before his death in 1998.
“He has evidence of the copies of cheques he used for payment,” the source said.
Chaponda was fired from President Peter Mutharika’s Cabinet after a joint parliamentary committee and another inquiry initiated by the President recommended that he should be investigated over his role in the procurement of maize from Zambia.