No corruption case for Chaponda and Tayub, defence submits seeking acquittal: Verdict May 18

 Lawyers for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice president for the South George Chaponda and Transglobe’s Director Rashid Tayub on Friday submitted for a ‘no case to answer’ defense before the Zomba Senior Resident Magistrate in  the Zambia maize procurement deal.

Chaponda coming out of court as defence argue that t the State has completely failed to make out a case against the accused

Tayub shares a lighter moment with lawyers Banda (L) and Gondwe (R) after submissions of no case to answer

 Chaponda is answering three charges which include giving false information to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (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 deny the charges.
 The former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development was arrested last year alongside Blantyre-based businessperson Rashid Tayub, who is operations director of Transglobe Produce Limited, for suspected corrupt acts in the maize transaction.
 In their oral submission  te defence team comprising Tamando Chokhotho—representing Chaponda and Lusungu Gondwe and Jai Banda representing  Tayubtold Senior Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha that the evidence which the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has is not sufficient to enable the accused to enter defense.
 “The first accused’s (Chaponda) submission of no case to answer is made pursuant to Section 254 of the criminal procedures and evidence code, which provides that if upon taking all the evidence referred to in section 253 and any evidence which the court may decide to add at that stage of the trial the court is if the opinion that no case is made out against the accused sufficiently to require him to make a defense,” said Chokhotho.
 He said the State  was not too sure on whether to charge or not to charge the accused, but acted on the outcries of the general public.
Chokhotho said during  cross examination, ACB Principal investigator Exton Kamkwete admitted that there was no sufficient evidence to effect an arrest but they did so under the direction but someone from above whose identity was not disclosed in court.
 In his observation, Chokhotho  said as minister of agriculture, Chaponda’s duty was to make sure that there is enough food in the country.
“The minister had to discharge his duties to make sure that Malawians have enough food. We should not create a situation where public officers should be afraid to discharge their duties,” said Chokhotho.
Chokhotho said the State  failed to treat their own witnesses who were leaning towards the defense as “hostile witnesses”, saying they were trying to override what their witnesses were saying.
 ” This has been a long journey and we dont want another one. We have heard what the state had and it was not worth it so it is our plea that the accused be acquitted of all the charges,” he said.

Tayub’s lawyer Jai Banda  in submissions, argued that no single witness adduced any evidence incriminating the accused.

“Your honour we are of the view that the State has completely failed to make out a case against the accused… You will observe from the evidence there is nothing implicating the accused to persuade Mr Mulumbe [former chief executive officer for Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation-Admarc] to offer a contract to Transglobe to export from Zambia 50 000 metric tonnes of maize for Admarc to purchase,” said Banda.
“In cross examination, most if the witnesses agreed that there was nothing wrong with a trader going to Admarc to look for business. If pursuing someone to offer a contract is an offence, how are we going to do business in the country? I am of the view that the state has failed to make out a prima facie case,” he said.
Banda said it should also be observed that at the time Transglobe’s officials went to Admarc to offer maize, the spokesperson for the company was Salim Tayub and not Rashid.
And on the second occasion, Banda said Rashid was not present.
“So when did he persuade Mr Mulumbe to offer a contract? The State has failed to make out a case,” he said.
Another defense lawyer Lusungu Gondwe said there was no case worth it’s salt.
“This is a case which found its way in this court because of overzealous prosecution,” he said.
Zomba chief resident magistrate Paul Chiotcha  adjourned the corruption-related case to Friday April 27 for the State to make its oral submissions.
The chief resident magistrate will make  his determination on May 18 2018 on owhether the two habe  a case to answer or not.
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.
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Charles Chakalamba
Guest

Its only fair that the judge grants them their wish otherwise ACB has disapointed

Mwiza Chavula
Guest

Ngati makhothi adamasula chigawenga chotchedwa Raph Kasambara ndiye mukanene Hon. Chaponda.Its clear he will win this case.

Molano Molano
Guest

Finally justice has taken its course. God bless Chaponda and pay him back for he suffered for nothing. The only crime he committed was being close to APM and a lot of his fellow DPP gurus including Chilima and Nankhumwa thought he was being groomed for the presidency. Now that they know Mutharika himself is standing they have no reason to continue fighting Chaponda.

Vinjeru
Guest

This is not surprising at all.ACB Has no concrete evidence against George Chaponda.Thats why mpaka lero palibe chomwe chikuchitika.They are just delaying for no reason! can you believe ACB Lawyer last week they asked the judge to adjorn chifukwa amapita ku xul? yet it was them who said they wanted that particular day. Very soon he will have his freedom back! Congratulations GT!

angoni apaphata
Guest

Ziliko ku Malawi…. Shameless greedy people. Kodi ndalama za ma pensioneer zija anayamba kutapa pano? Kuli zii… Next thing timva kuti it was used for disaster preparation. Fotseki. No more tax from me.

JOSEPH CHAGOMELANA
Guest

MMENE INUYO MUKUZIONELA SIMMENE KHOTHI LINGAZIONELE NDIYE PEPANI KUTI ZAKUYIPILANI MAWA TIDZALOLA KUTI MUDZAGAMULE NDINU KUTI ZIDZAKUKOMELENI, KKKK KWA NONSE OLILA TINGOTI PEPANI KKKKK

Concerned citizen
Guest

If we are serious about our nation, can we have a report tabled in Parliament by the minister of energy on the status of the generator contract in our land and how/who agreed to the terms? Is it assisting the nation?

I see no effort to find alternative means of generating power. Just over in Zimbabwe, you read of so many power generation initiatives, like one for 100 MW solar being undertaken by Chinese engineering giant CHiNT Electrics Gwanda solar farm.

I have no clue what we are doing.

Let us be serious about our nation.

Ufiti Wa Chaponda
Guest

Chaponda acquittal?! This then is a genuine reason for call to a mass protest. And it is only imperative to call on the citizenry to stop paying taxes until a genuine government is in place again.

muonosile
Guest

agree

JUSABU SPINDULO
Guest

OK. Tamva. But can the defence explain how Tayub accesed the 50,000Mt of maize contract out of the 100,000Mt which ADMARC Signed with ZCF of ZAMBIA. Who Authorised the split from the Malawi side.

Watematema Mutu
Guest

Billy Chelewani, you are right but forget APM replacing Chaponda. The hope for DPP leadership continuity lies in this corrupt man unfortunately!!!!!! This is the signs and nonverbal signs we are getting from DPP.

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