The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has dodged the oral submissions in a case aginst former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda and asked the Zomba Magistrate Court to move it to April 20 in a move which has irked the defence.
The State prosecutirs said the are not ready for the submissions.
Chaponda is answering three charges out of the four which include giving false information to ACB, influencing a public officer to misuse his position and possession of foreign currency while Transglobe’sdirectir Rashid Tayub, the second accuse, is answering to the charge of persuading a public officer to misuse his position.
They both pleaded not guilty.
Defence lawyer for Tayub, Jai Banda said they are disappointed with the delay tactics by the State.
“We are very disappointed. We maintained right from the beginning that we would want this case to end as quickly as possible. The State have always brought all tricks in the book to prolong this matter. First they asked the first magistrate to recuse himself.
“After they failed they got the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to have the matter transferred to the High Court and several times their witnesses were not available and now despite agreeing on time deadlines they want more time,” he said.
Banda added that “Our client’s business is suffering and we would like this case to end so that the accused are vindicated. Justice delayed is justice denied on the part of our clients.”
Chapondawas fired from Cabinet on February 22 2017 following public pressure after the ACB instituted investigations on allegations of his involvement in the K26 billion maize import deal from Zambia, popularly known as maizegate.