George Chaponda

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George Chaponda

Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation
and Water Development
In office
7 April 2016 – 22 February 2017
PresidentPeter Mutharika
Preceded byAllan Chiyembekeza
Minister of Foreign Affairs and
International Cooperation
In office
19 June 2014 – 7 April 2016
Preceded byEphraim Chiume
Succeeded byFrancis Kasaila
Member of Parliament
for Mulanje South West
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1942-11-01) 1 November 1942 (age 78)
Chonde Village, Nyasaland
Political partyDemocratic Progressive Party
Alma materUniversity of Delhi
University of Zambia
Yale University (J.S.D)

George T. Chaponda (born 1 November 1942) is a Malawian career diplomat and politician who served as Malawi's Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development from 2016 to 2017. He is a founding member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and is a DPP Member of Parliament from Mulanje district in southern Malawi.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Chonde Village, Mulanje District, Chaponda studied at the University of Delhi from 1963 to 1968 where he received degrees in history and political science. He studied law at the University of Zambia from 1976 to 1979 and at Yale University from 1980 to 1984. He was admitted to the bar in 1980.[2]


He has held a number of senior positions in Zambia, including chief executive of a parastal organisation. From 1984 to 2002, he worked mostly as a senior lawyer for the Office for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Somalia, Kenya, Thailand, Bangladesh, Switzerland, Austria, Poland and Ethiopia. From 2003-2004 he was Chairman of the University Council of the University of Malawi. In 2004 Chaponda entered Malawian politics and was elected as a Member of Parliament for the Mulanje South West constituency. In June 2004, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in the cabinet of the newly elected President Bingu wa Mutharika. He served in that position until 2005, when he was appointed Minister of Local Government and Rural Development. After the elections in May 2009, President Peter Mutharika appointed him Minister of Education, but moved him to lead the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in 2010. The entire cabinet was dismissed on 19 August 2011.

In September 2011, President Peter Mutharika re-appointed him to cabinet as Minister of Education, Science and Technology. He served in that post until April 2012, when the president died suddenly of a heart attack. Mutharika's successor, Joyce Banda, appointed Chaponda Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on 22 June 2014. On 7 April 2016, President Peter Mutharika moved Chaponda to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.[3]

Mutharika then appointed him Leader of the House of Assembly in May 2016. [4] After a brief suspension in early 2017, Chaponda was re-instated in February but only held the post for a week before he was succeeded by his deputy Kondwani Nankhumwa in an interim capacity, pending the results of Chaponda's ongoing corruption investigation.[5]

He is rumoured to have been groomed to succeed President Peter Mutharika, who could leave office as early as 2019 after the expected tripartite elections.[6]

Air Fouling Legislation[edit]

In February 2011, Chaponda said that a clause in the Local Courts bill making it a misdemeanor to "vitiate the atmosphere" would criminalize flatulence to "promote decency".[7] He told the private Capital Radio's popular Straight Talk programme, "Would you be happy to see people farting anyhow?" The story was quickly picked up by the foreign press.[8] The Solicitor General Anthony Kamanga contradicted him, saying the bill referred only to air pollution.[7] Later, Chaponda retracted his remarks, saying he had not read the proposed bill before commenting.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Chaponda is a Christian, is married and has children.[citation needed]. During a parliamentary debate in the Malawi parliament in 2016, he was involved in an altercation with a Member of Parliament from the opposition People's Party (PP), Harry Mlekanjala Mkandawire. Mkandawire is said to have said Chaponda is one of seven ministers alleged to be in an audit report for the plunder of government funds in Malawi, popularly known as Cashgate.

His son, comedian Daliso Chaponda, appeared on Britain's Got Talent in 2017, claiming Amanda Holden's Golden Buzzer. He ended up finishing in third place.


  1. ^ "THE IRISH-AFRICAN PARTNERSHIP FOR RESEARCH CAPACITY BUILDING" (PDF). Page 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
  2. ^ Kalinga, Owen (2012). Historical Dictionary of Malawi. Page 75. ISBN 9780810859616. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  3. ^ Simutowe, Yamikani. "APM reshuffles Cabinet, Kaliati hired as govt. spokesperson". Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  4. ^ "DR GEORGE CHAPONDA APPOINTED AS LEADER OF THE HOUSE -". 19 May 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  5. ^ Ponje, Alick. "George Chaponda replaced again | The Times Group". Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  6. ^ Kathumba, Jonathan (5 September 2016). "Can 'mafia' George Chaponda be next Malawi President? Thanks, but no thanks". Nyasa Times. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Malawi row over whether new law bans farting". BBC. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  8. ^ a b JOE CHIBEWA (4 February 2011). "Chaponda: Oops I goofed, you can fart!". Marevi Post. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
Preceded by
Lilian Patel
Foreign Minister of Malawi
Succeeded by
Davis Katsonga