Defence lawyers accuse ACB of dragging Chaponda’s case: Not ready for oral submissions, case adjourned to April 27

Defence lawyers in the Maizegate case involving Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice- president George Chaponda and businessperson Rashid Tayub  again accused the State of employing delaying tactics to stall proceedings after prosecutors  dodged the oral submissions before the Zomba Senior Magistrate court on Friday.

Chaponda (L) coming out of Zomba court.-Photo by Chancy Namdzunda, Nyasa Times

This was the second time when the prosecution has asked the court for further time to have their submissions heard before Senior Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha.

Actually, the oral submissions were slated for April 9 but the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) asked the court for more time and they were granted the date of April 20.

State counsel Macmillan Chakhala said  then that they were compelled to file the application because they wanted more time to respond to the first accused (Chaponda’s) written submissions of no case to answer.

However, on Friday  after the defence lawyers, Tamando Chokhotho, Jai Banda and Lusungu Gondwe had done their part, the prosecution asked for an adjournment again as Chakhala rsaid he had classes to attend to.

This did not go well with the defence.

“If the State wants school to take precedence over the court, then I plead that the court should make its determination on the issue. The state has two abled counsels, if one is busy then the other one can come in with oral submissions,” said Chokhotho, counsel for  Chaponda.

He added that, “at first, the state applied to the court without consulting us to adjourn the case from April 9 to today (April 20), now we have done our part and we wonder why counsel is also applying for an adjournment.”

Banda, counsel for Tayub wondered why the State has been dragging the case all along.

The counsel observed that Chaponda and Tayub would want to see the case concluded as quickly as possible because it was affecting them in various ways.

“My client’s wish had been to see this case off as soon as possible. He wanted even if it had ended yesterday because it is affecting his business, now we don’t want more adjournments,” said Banda.

Magistrate Chiotcha adjoured the case to April 27 with the ruling of case for no case to answer on May 18.

Chaponda, who was fired from President Peter Mutharika’s Cabinet, is answering three charges, including giving false information to ACB, influencing a public officer to misuse his position and possession of foreign currency while Tayub has one charge of persuading a public officer to misuse his position.

They both deny the charges.

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4 years ago

Thats the more reason he is defending the 80 yrs old man vilombo

4 years ago

God watches all tricks played in this case.

4 years ago

It seems the government is losing grip over this case.

Alamu Mwakalamba Pumani

Nkhalambatu kukanika kutsika masitepe koma kudziwa kuba.

4 years ago

Trying to fool Malawians. You have paid the prosecuting team to behave unusual so that this case gets discontinued by a competent in the name of prosecution not coming up forward to conclude the case

Old AP Munthali
4 years ago

Beast Chaponda kuponda

4 years ago

I guess Chaponda is having a taste of his own DPP medicine. The DPP-led government endorsed and confirmed incompetent and compromised investigators & prosecutors/defence lawyers, at ACB, for their selfish reasons. Now here we are, ACB is unable to conduct itself professionally.

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