Chaponda’s corruption case goes for judicial review

The corruption-related case involving former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda will on Wednesday go for a judicial reviews for the courts to determine whether the trial  should go to the High Court.

Chaponda: Accused of corruption

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) moved the case from the Blantyre Magistrate Court to the High Court after  Chief Resident Magistrate Simeon Mdeza refused to recuse himself from the case.

ACB had requested the magistrate to recuse himself from the court after Mdeza openly said in the chambers that the gallery following the case easily saw that there was no case and that Transglobe Produce Limited which Director, Tayub is also answering the same charges alongside Chaponda,  is a well paying tax company.

The transfer of the case to the high court prompted the defence, led by Tamando Chokhotho to seek a judicial review.

This comes at a time when Chaponda’s legal team has been trimmed  after two lawyers Jai Banda and Madalitso Mmeta discharged themselves.

This leaves Chokhotho, Madalo Banda and Lusungu Gondwe on the defence team.

The former Cabinet minister alongside Tayub, a Transglobe Produce Limited director and Grace Mijiga-Mhango, chairperson of the Grain Traders and Processors Association of Malawi (GTPA), were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on suspicion of corruption relating to procurement of government maize from Zambia.

Recently, Tayub’s lawyer asked the court to have his matter heard separately but the State opposed to the application.

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 Tayub is answering to the charge of persuading a public officer to misuse his position. They both pleaded not guilty.

He was 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.

Chaponda is currently vice president of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the Southern Region.

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