High Court upholds Chaponda’s acquittal: ACB’s appeal grounds ‘not valid’

High Court has acquitted former Cabinet minister George Chaponda in the Maizegate case after the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) appealed his acquittal by the Zomba Magistrate Court.

Chaponda: Has cleared his name in corruption case

Judge Dr Redson Kapindu in his ruling on Tuesday upheld the judgement by Zomba chief resident magistrate Paul Chiotcha who acquitted Chaponda on May 18 2018, after quashing all evidence presented by the graft-busting body in support of the counts, arguing they lacked elements of corruption.

In his ruling, justice Kapindu said ACB’s grounds of appeal were “not valid.”

He also pointed out that the [prosecution failed to prove that Chaponda gave ACB false information.

This corruption-related case involved the procurement of maize from Zambia in 2016— allegations which cost Chaponda his ministerial position and political popularity.

Chaponda, who is legislator for Mulanje South West, was arrested on July 19 2017; five months after President Peter Mutharika fired him from Cabinet as minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development due to public pressure on his alleged role in the controversial procurement of maize from Zambia.

He was answering to three charges of giving false information to ACB, possession of foreign currency and attempting to obtain an advantage by instructing former Admarc chief executive officer Foster Mulumbe to offer a contract to Transglobe Produce Export Limited, but the State only appealed against the first two counts.

Justice Kapindu also said ACB  failed to prove that the foreign currency was connected to Maizegate.

Chaponda’s lawyer Tamando Chokhotho  said he was pleased with the court ruling.

“We had raised preliminary issues that the appeal was not properly filed and was, therefore, not a competent appeal and the court has agreed with us such that the court could have dismissed the appeal without looking at the merit but it went into the merit as well for the sake of public interest the matter had developed,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from ACB.

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Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
10 months ago

Tiyeni atukwaneni a court pano.

Anthony Chilomba
Anthony Chilomba
10 months ago

Mbava imeneyi idzayankha.

Mwini muzi.
10 months ago

Ukaononga uku umakonzera Ku mbali Ina.

Phwisa
Phwisa
10 months ago

That is the problem of politically motivated cases. Remember what opposition MPs did on this case. It was them who saw a case in Chaponda. I beg Chaponda to immediately claim damages from Government.

Nyekhwe
Nyekhwe
10 months ago

Agalatiya onse kuti zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Mpakaten
10 months ago

Tulukani a DPP nonse mutikwane Judge kuti sanagamule mwachilungamo chifukwa Chaponda samangidwa. Muchite muja munachitira ndi mulandu wa chisankho. Mumuuze Pitala akanene zimenezi pa nsonkhano. Zimudzatheka anthu a nkhwindzi inu. Chilungamo ndi chilungamo basi osati zonse zizikuyenderani chifukwa choti muli m’boma.

Hate it or take it but it's a fact

This was well planned by ACB to present a weaker Case just to blindfold Malawians that they are tackling corruption cases by persecuting Chaponda .

Muntharika told the ACB that Chaponda need to cleared as soon b4 Muntharika leaves office and it’s what they have done with the blessing of Zomba midnight corrupt judges.

Ineyo
Ineyo
10 months ago

Nde sipakhala ma costs?

G Zali
G Zali
10 months ago

Koma my Malawi. “Lacked evidence” after chaponda ataotcha office ku Capital Hill. Nane ndikazapeza mpata pa Malawi okuba ndizaba nkuotcha office.

The Patriot
10 months ago

So that time people were talking as if there was corruption. I want to hear from them again. Foolish. Character assassination!!

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