LILONGWE, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday sacked his agricultural minister George Chaponda, amid calls for a probe into his involvement in the country's controversial maize procurement from Zambia.
A statement signed by President Mutharika's Press Secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, said Chaponda's sacking was with immediate effect.
A commission of inquiry Mutharika set on the maize procurement recommended an investigation on the minister, saying his dealings in the procurement process were suspicious.
On Tuesday the opposition refused to recognize him as minister of agriculture in Parliament and called for his voluntary resignation.
Later on Tuesday, the country's Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) pounced on the minister's residence in the capital where cash amounting to about 225,000 U.S. dollars in local and various foreign currencies was recovered.
Mutharika is yet to replace the agriculture minister. Meanwhile, civil society organizations and many Malawians have hailed the president's action, saying it was long over due.