The Blantyre Magistrate Court gave bail to former Minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda, alongside Director of Transglobe Export Produce Limited, Rashid Tayub.
Another accomplice in the case Grace Mijiga Mhango has today been granted bail by Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court after she was arrested in Lilongwe yesterday and spent a night at Lilongwe Police Station.
Senior resident Magistrate Shyreen Yona has granted the bail. Mhango, charged with forgery, was represented by Chrispin Ndalama.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday arrested Chaponda, Mhango and Tayub for their alleged involvement in the dubious maize purchase from Zambia.
The trio were separately interrogated on Wednesday and spent a night in Police before being given bail on Thursday evening.
In Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate Simeon Mdeza granted bail to Chaponda, 74 and Tayub nearly 6pm.
Defense attorney, Jai Banda, said he was happy that his clients were given bail and that the team is ready to defend the case that is scheduled to be heard from 9th to 14th August, 2017.
“Our grounds for bail application were that the two accused knew in the past that ACB is investigating them and never run away. They also have big businesses in Malawi hence no need for them to run away,” he said.
He continued to say “The condition for a bail is that they provide Mk200,000 bond cash each, K2 million non-sureties each, surrenders their travel documents to ACB, should report to ACB every fortnight and should inform the bureau whenever leaving Blantyre.”
ACB’s Deputy Director, Reyneck Matemba, said the bureau did not object to bail because they have finished their investigation which the suspects cannot tamper with it.
Matemba further said considering that bail is a right for everyone; the two also deserve to enjoy it as everyone can do besides the nature of the case.
“When the bureau arrested them, it had already finished its investigations and I don’t think they can tamper with any evidence that we have set as part of the case,” he said.