LILONGWE  (Papious Liwonde, Malawi NewsNow) –President Peter Mutharika has fired embattled Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Dr George Chaponda to pave way for investigations into the purchase of maize as well as a search and seizure exercise that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) carried out at his house on Tuesday.

ACB seized cash at Chaponda’s house in Lilongwe, in both local and foreign currencies, amounting to an accumulated figure of over K200 million, according to Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).

The bureau also carried out a search and seizure operation on Admarc and TransGlobe Produce Export Limited as part of their investigations into the dubious maize procurement deal by Admarc from neighbouring Zambia.

Minister of Information, Communication Technology Mr Nicholous Dausi confirmed the President has sent Dr Chaponda packing.

Mr Dausi, who is government spokesman said, President Mutharika “relieved” Dr Chaponda of his responsibilities as Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development “with immediate effect.”

He said the President has not appointed a replacement as “all matters requiring the attention of the Minister of Agriculture should be referred to the President.”

Menawhile, ACB deputy director general Mr Reyneck Matemba confirmed the amounts, saying the figures were already in the public domain.

“And as ACB, we are not saying that the figures are connected to the maize issue, no. It will be too premature to say so. Our investigations are still underway,” he said.