Deposed minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, George Chaponda, has accumulated mammoth wealth from both local and international sources in a space of two years.
Eyebrows were raised on Tuesday about Chaponda’s wealth after ACB executed a search and seizure warrant on him in connection with the maize importation scandal from Zambia. K166 million was found in his house at Area 43 in Lilongwe
Malawi News applied to the Office of the Director of Public Officer’s Declarations to access the file about Chaponda’s on his wealth.
We have found out that former minister’s wealth has been steadily rising from what he declared in 2014 when DPP has just won the elections to the last declaration on July 1 2016.
Under the assets declared in 2016, Chaponda has eight houses in his name located in Blantyre, Lilongwe and France valued at over K600 million and the sources of the money are NBS Bank, United Nations, Standard Bank and his properties. The houses were constructed between 1989 and 2012.
There are also 20 houses registered in the names of Chaponda’s family members valued at over K400 million. The houses are located in Blantyre, Luchenza, Chiradzulu, Mangochi, Limbe, Chigumula, Lunzu and Chonde.
The houses were constructed between 1989 and 2016.
Sources of finance for the houses include United Nations where he once worked, MSB Bank loan, The United Kingdom salary, children abroad, Republic of South Africa salary and Chaponda Investments.
Twenty three plant and motor vehicles valued at about K100 million are appearing in his name where he is asked to state the number of vehicles owned within the last 24 months.
All the vehicles are being used except one, Nissan Truck registration number MJ 4035, which was involved in an accident.
The truck was acquired in 2009. Sources of financing for the vehicles include UN, government loans, children abroad and Chaponda Investments.
Chaponda has bank accounts in Malawi, France and New York. In Malawi he has a Private Dollar Account at Standard Bank, Private Account Kwacha at National Bank, Private Euro Account at Standard Bank, France Account at Credit Agricole France, Savings Account, New York at UNFCU Bank and Business Account at Oasis Hotel Bank.
Other accounts at Standard Bank, FDH and Malawi Standard Bank are in the names of immediate family members.
Chaponda runs four businesses: Chaponda Investments whose estimated annual net income is K30.6 million; Oasis Hotel and Restaurants with annual net income of K5.4 million; Property with K48 million net income; and grinding mills with K1 million net income.
“I declare that the information I have provided above is a correct account of my situation with regard to assets, liabilities and business interests that could be attributed to my name,” reads the documents.
The above declared assets are much more than those he declared in 2014.
In that year, Chaponda’s declaration lacked details.
He declared the following assets: Plot 698 Nyambadwe; Plot 697 Nyambadwe; Plot 12/152 Lilongwe; Plot 03/058, Lilongwe; Plot 11/9 Lilongwe; two upstairs flat houses; Plot 43/2/125 Lilongwe; house in Chonde Village in Mulanje; land comprising 4.9 hectares; commercial area in Blantyre; land in Area 49; land in Area 15, earmarked for commercial development; shares in Chaponda Investment Trust; shares in Oasis Hotel Ltd; Prado; Land Cruiser; C250 and C3350 Benz; three trucks; two farms in Mangochi and Kasinje in Ntcheu; Town Houses on Plot 43/B, Lilongwe; and house in Ferney, Noltaire in France.
Director of Assets and Declarations, Christopher Tukula, said on Thursday the updated declarations are being processed and were not yet ready for access.
Chaponda’s phone was off when we called him yesterday for his comment on the declared assets.
Chaponda has been embroiled in the dubious purchase of maize from Zambia.
A Commission of Inquiry initiated by President Peter Mutharika into the procurement of $34.5 million maize recommended that Chaponda be investigated further as his dealings with a private Malawians company called Transglobe were suspicious.
A joint parliamentary committee chaired by legislator Joseph Chidanti Malunga also recommended ACB’s further investigation into Chaponda’s connection with Transglobe in the purchase of maize from Zambia.