High Court judge Dingiswayo Madise has dismissed Anti-Corruption Bureau’s (ACB) application to transfer to the High Court a case in which former minister of Agriculture, Water Development and Irrigation George Chaponda is accused of corruption.
Judge Madise ruled that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale acted irregularly against Section 289 by committing the matter to the High Court, saying it was unreasonable and lacked merit..
He said the DPP was supposed to issue the certificate to commit the matter to the High Cour soon after charging the accused.
Judge Madise ruled that the matter be transferred from the Chief Resident Magistrate in Blantyre to Chief Resident Magistrate in Zomba.
The State had wanted the case to be heard by the High Court and not Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate Simeon Mdeza.
While the defence had applied for judicial review of the case,
Judge Madise has since ordered that the case start within 21 days.
In an interview with Nyasa Times following the ruling, Dr. Steven Kayuni from the Attorney General’s office representing DPP said he was happy with the transfer but said they have will sit down with ACB to examine the same.
Lawyer Tamando Chokhotho representing Chapondaalso expressed satisfaction with the the court’s determination..
Chaponda were arrested by ACB on suspicion of corruption relating to procurement of government maize from Zambia.
He 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.
Chaponda 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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :