Zomba chief resident magistrate (CRM) Paul Chiotcha who acquitted former Cabinet minister George Chaponda in his corruption-related case regarding the Zambia maize purchase in 2016, “errerd in law” to dismiss two of Chaponda’s three counts, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has said at it lodged an appeal bid at the High Court.
Chaponda was acquitted on 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 ACB director general Reyneck Matemba said they are appealing 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.
Matemba said the magistrate made material errors in law ‘in his interpretation of the two counts.”
“As we said earlier on that we would be appealing against the judgement that was made by the Zomba [Chief Resident] Magistrate Court, we have now filed the application. At first, we wanted to apply in Blantyre but we thought it was easier to do it in Zomba.
“We haven’t changed the counts we are appealing against; we are still appealing against two counts out of the three Dr Chaponda was answering,” Matemba said.
On the count of attempting to obtain an advantage, Matemba said the evidence that the bureau has on the table remains the same and appealing would change nothing.
“On that count, former Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation chief executive officer, Foster Mulumbe, was the main witness and, from what we got that time, there is nothing much that we can change on that count,” he said.
Chaponda, who is also the governing Democratic Progressive Party vice-president (South) and Mulanje South West legislator was arrested on July 19 2017, five months after President Peter Mutharika fired him from Cabinet due to public pressure.