ACB accuses Chaponda’s lawyer Mbeta of leaking witness details

The graft-busting body is accusing defence lawyers for former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda and two others in the case relating to the Zambian maize import transactions of leaking witness details.

Mbeta: Lawyer for Chaponda

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)  disclosed it has lined up 22  to testify as prosecution witnesses and served  a statement of disclosure to  the defence team.

However, witnesses list has been leaked to the media and among them it is known Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi, who is also the official government spokesperson, will testify alongside Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe as Henry Mussa the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism.

The ministers recorded statements have also been leaked such that Finance Minister Gondwe recorded to testify that he told Chaponda that the importation of maize from Zambia at $450 per tonne  was “unprocedural”.

Gondwe  also directed that “all the public procurement requirements as stipulated by the Public Procurement Act and the Office of the Director of public Procurement would have to be met.”

However, ACB is not amused with the leakage and officials are blaming the defence team for “tactically leaking the witness list to intimidate them.”

An official of ACB who opted to have his name shielded told Nyasa Times that  they fear witnesses are being intimidated to defeat the course of justice.

The anti-graft body fears defence witness information had put the security of “critical” prosecution witnesses in jeopardy.

ACB are “dismayed” by the defence whom they accused of disclosing the identities of  prosecution witnesses.

The blame is also targeted at lawyer  Frank Mbeta  for being responsible for the leakage.

The embattled former minister, who is also vice-president for the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) responsible for Southern Region and member of Parliament (MP) Mulanje South West Constituency, was charged with two criminal counts of misusing public office and possession of foreign currency without the lawful justification and  is being represented by private practice lawyers who include  Mbeta, Tamando Chokotho, Madaliso Mmeta, and Jai Banda.

His  alleged accomplices—Rashid Tayub, director of Transglobe Produce Export Limited and Grace Mijiga-Mhango, a businessperson and chairperson of the Grain Traders and Processors Association of Malawi (GTPA)—were arrested by ACB last month for their alleged roles in the dubious purchase of maize from Zambia.

Blantyre chief resident magistrate (CRM) Simeon Mdeza  adjourned the case to September 14 2017 after the defence counsel objected to the prosecution’s intentions to make an application to consolidate the case into one charge sheet.

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concerned citizen
Guest

communism is the way to go for our sustained and equal development for all Malawians. No citizen is more important than the other in all respects. We need communist principles

Chimwemwe
Guest

This so called lawyer is nothing but a thief!!! He blackmails his clients and extortes them off their money to feed his Sick women!! Mbeta your time is near! You will end up with kasambara soon!!! How long do you think you can eat people’s money?? This thief should be barred from practising. Malawi law society is waiting for complaints! All you clients who feel he has eaten you please report him!!!!!!!! They need proof to bar this!!!

Tesani
Guest

Nde zakakwika chani…that’s public information mmesa tidzanvabe…..zisamakomere galu ayi

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