Mzimba West lawmaker, Harry Mkandawire on Thursday asked Parliament to look into ways of prosecuting Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Principal Secretary Erica Maganga for perjury.
Perjury is the offence of wilfully telling a lie in court after taking an oath or affirmation.
Lawmakers are accusing Maganga of lying to the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security which was investigation the botched Zambia maize import deal.
Harry Mkandawire called for Maganga’s trial when he was making his contribution on the Joint-Parliamentary Report into the Maize Inquiry, which has recommended, among other things, that the former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda be investigated for corruption.
Chaponda has since been sacked as Minister of Agriculture.
Said Mkandawire: “Perjury is a serious offence and the Principal Secretary [Maganga] came to us and lied under oath even after Mzuzu High Court had stopped Chaponda from working as a minister.
“She facilitated his travel arrangements [to Germany]; such action Mr. Speaker Sir, must be dealt with, I am seeking your guidance.”
Addressing the press in Lilongwe yesterday, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera also called for charges to be leveled against Maganga and others who lied to the joint parliamentary committee.
Said Chakwera: “We demand that President Mutharika takes disciplinary measures to publicly censure officials of the Malawi Government who are paid by Malawian tax-payers, including Mr. Charles Chuka, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, Mr. Henry Mathanga, the Director of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, Ms. Madalo Nyambose of the Ministry of Finance, and Mrs. Erica Maganga in the Ministry of Agriculture, for committing perjury by lying to the Parliamentary Committee about their knowledge of the Kaloswe Ltd-Admarc contract, despite giving their testimony under oath. Until Mutharika does this, he has done nothing.”
When she appeared before the committee on January 19, Maganga told the inquiry that the ministry’s involvement in the procurement of maize from Zambia was minimal and that she did not know that Chaponda had travelled to Germany. n