Chaponda returns to court over cash found stashed in suitcases

Former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda, returned to court Thursday after the country’s anti-graft busting body Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) appealed against his acquittal of case in his corruption-related case regarding the Zambia maize purchase in 2016.

Chaponda back in court as ACB appeals his corruption case

Chaponda was charged with three offences of giving false information to ACB, influencing a public officer to misuse his position and possession of foreign currency.

Zomba Senior Resident Magistrate, Paul Chiotcha, had ruled that he had no cases to answer.

ACB had resolved to appeal against the two counts because they were not satisfied with the way the magistrate handled the two counts of giving false information to ACB and possession of foreign currency.

And, while the nation thought that the maizegate case had returned Thursday, Chaponda’s lawyer, Tamando Chokhotho clarified that the appeal case was nothing to do with maizegate.

“ACB has not appealed against the acquittal on maizegate which means there is no maizegate. But they have appealed against the acquittal on being found in possession of foreign currency and giving false information to the Bureau,” said Chokhotho.

According to Chokhotho, they also argued before Judge Redson Kapindu that there was no case  since the plaintiff did not appeal within 10 days.

“The appeal documents that were presented before the court are outdated; and, according to Section 343 Sub-section 1, it means the High Court cannot accept them. That was what we were arguing before the court today,” said Chokhotho.

Nyasa Times understands that the plaintiff was supposed to have filed the appeal ten days after May 26, 2018. However, the documents, which the High Court has seen, were dated on June 14, 2018.

When ACB officer  raided Chaponda’s residence during the investigations of Maizegate, they seized  suitcases stashed with cash – US$58,000 and MK124 million.

The cash stashed in suitcases at Chaponda’s residence reminded Malawians of the biggest corruption scandal called ‘Cashgate’ which involved fraudulent government payments for services not rendered and for “ghost pensions” to fictional government retirees.

Corrupt officials pocketed the money, using it to buy smart cars and mansions — or simply stuffed bundles of US dollars and Malawi kwacha in car boots, handbags and pillowcases, hence the “cash” in “Cashgate”.

When ACB seized the cash from Chaponda, the politician claimed the money belongs to the governing DPP.

Chaponda justified why he is cash-rich, saying he has worked for the United Nations (UN) for over 20 years and has his own investments.

He also submitted his assets declaration form to ACB which indicates he hold many bank accounts in foreign countries where he worked for UN.

A lists of assets Chaponda declared as of February 1, 2017 seen by Nyasa Times shows that he has 20 real estate properties in Lilongwe, Blantyre, France, Luchenza, Mangochi, Thyolo and Chiradzulu.

According to Chaponda declaration, the source of funds for the property, valued at K853 million, included bank loans and his earnings from the UN, United Kingdom, South Africa, France and his children abroad and Chaponda investments

Chaponda, who is also Mulanje South West legislator,  was arrested on July 19 2017, five months after President Peter Mutharika fired him from Cabinet due to public pressure.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Stanley Mdala
Guest
Stanley Mdala

The next inspector General of Police should be an Englishman and even the deputy inspector General should be an Englishman. The Army commander and his deputy should be Englishmen to bring back professionalism in these important departments. The other departments to be headed by Englishmen are Chief Justice, MRA ,MERA,The Secretary to the Treasury and Reserve Bank of Malawi should also be headed by Englishmen.Englishmen are professional and honest and efficient. We need to bring back the standards Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda was trying to inculcate to most professional departments in Malawi. We lost the honest and efficient and effectiveness… Read more »

Ntengo wa Kesia
Guest
Ntengo wa Kesia

Wow. So much affinity for the English(MEN); and so sexist.
Do you really believe that only men, and only the English deserve these jobs?
Even if you you are English by birth, what is the basis for for your Anglophilia?
I am disappointed to say the least. Aaaaah.

Alegria
Guest
Alegria

why underating Malawians? I do not blame you it is because of being enslaved by colonialism. wake up. stop day dreaming and backward thinking. think positive about your country.

Chilungamo
Guest
Chilungamo

It’s because Malawians are proven thieves, except nthawi ya Kamuzu. Thieves politicians, civil servants, conniving with mwenyes.
Thieves all over.

Stanley Mdala
Guest
Stanley Mdala

Chaponda is a big thief as big as Mutharika himself. It just shows how corruption has been endemic in the top echelon of the Malawi government. Chaponda was aspiring to be the next President of the Nyasaland.We his corruption record nobody in Malawi wants him to be anywhere within the top position in the party or government. He stole that cash from government. He can not convince anybody where he got the money from. His case will be revived once Chilima becomes President of Malawi in May. He will be rearrested

Alegria
Guest
Alegria

how sure are you that chilima is a saint? with all those surrounding him i can’t see angels in the next govt.

benjones
Guest

YES

BEYADI
Guest

the guy (chaponda ) already told the nation that the money belonged to dpp —why giving him tough time ??

balaka
Guest
balaka

kwa dc atumiza antu akumaiatanisa ma aidi national nkumafusa mafuso okuti mulindi ana angati kenako akumatenga phone kujambula nambala ya id

kendol
Guest
kendol

nkani ya chaponda sitikufuna kuinva mukufuna muzitipusisa ngati pali nkani koma mukuziwa muipipilisa sifika patali kuti muzioneka ngati mukupanga fight corruption mulimbola

Chilungamo
Guest
Chilungamo

ACB’s work in Malawi has been shambolic since time immemorial. But clearly there’s a new trend with the current administration. They work like con artists. Before at least what was obvious was that the “big fish” “chejumos” were untouchable. No one could dare open a file for them. But the current leadership disguises as if it’s up to fair and serious job, yet it works for the very thieves it claims it is prosecuting. Deliberate professional kindergarten mistakes with the sole purpose of exonerating thieves. I would say it’s the worst ever because the taxpayer loses double, i.e. stolen money… Read more »

Zameer wa MuthariKarim
Guest
Zameer wa MuthariKarim

Chaponda osamusiya. Mpaneni! Mfinyeni! Mkwizingeni! Ndipo pomaliza mukamponye mchitikosi! Yea!

Scholastica Bombe
Guest
Scholastica Bombe

This ACB is ‘deliberately’ incompetent! These are deliberate technical mistakes to have Chaponda get away with ‘murder’! That is why I for one urges and concurs with Chakwera to have the ACB become completely independent from the Executive branch of govt by floating the ACB Director’s and Prosecutors’ vacancies internationally and hire competent Director and 3 Prosecutors from either US, UK, China, Japan etc. Let our guys deputize the team (foreign Director and Prosecutors) for the first 5 years and then take over from the foreigners after 10years with an oath of anybody working for ACB involved in or technically… Read more »

Ankolo
Guest
Ankolo

ACB and its duties. Mulandu sumaola

ZINGALUME
Guest
ZINGALUME

Taking Malawians for granted, okey tionana come 21 may, Malawians will talk as we did with Dr Banda 1994.

More From Nyasatimes

More From web