Reserve Bank of Malawi dismiss Chaponda forex licence: Court summons Finance Minister

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) manager has told  Chief Resident Magistrate Court sitting at the central bank  that former  Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda is not among those  given licence  to keep thousands of dollars and millions of Kwachas found by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) stashed inside suitcases hidden in the bedroom of his house during a search.

Chaponda faces corruption charges

Chaponda  being accused of corruption in the procurement of maize from Zambia.

Prosecution witness Griffin Phiri, Exchange Control Monitoring and Statistics Manager at RBM said only the central bank is mandated to give a permit to keep foreign currency and that none was given to Chaponda.

But  Chaponda claims to have a licence of possession of foreign currency that he  obtained from Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe  in 2004.

ACB lead prosecutor, Macmillan Chakhala, said  a document  submitted  by Chaponda through his legal team   has a signature of Gondwe.

But in his testimony, Phiri said  fiscal chief can only seek guidance from the central bank on the issuance of a permit for an individual to keep forex.

“For foreign exchange  dealership and individuals, a minister of finance cannot issue a licence. That has never happened before,” Phiri told the court.

Also testifying, ACB investigator Jack Banda told the court that before  a search at Chaponda’s Area 43 sprawling residence  in Lilongwe,  another ACB investigator Kondwani Zulu enquired from  the former minister if he had any guns or cash in the House.

Banda said he cautioned Chaponda that he had a right to remain silent and that anything he could say “may be given in evidence.”

He said a search in the House,  they found money in various currencies and they  were told by Chaponda that the money was realised from a Blue Night function which the governing  Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)  held in Blantyre.

Chaponda told the bureau that the money belongs to DPP but when graft-busting body  inquired from DPP treasurer-general Henry Mussa, also Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism and Nicholas Dausi, a senior DPP member and Minister of Information and Communications Technology, about the issue, they both denied that the money was realised from the Blue Night.

Between US$58,000 and MK124 million in cash was found after a search at Chaponda’s home last year.

Zulu, a fourth witness for ACB,  testified that the serial numbers of the dollars were very close as if they were withdrawn at the same time.

“The Malawi kwachas were in stacks with Standard Bank and National Bank stamps dated November 2016,” he said.

“We found money in what seemingly looked like the master bedroom. He told us the Malawi kwachas were monies that he changed from US dollars he withdrew from his pension account every time he went outside the country. We asked for receipts but he did not produce any,” Zulu said.

Meanwhile, Chief Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha, who is hearing the case, has subpoenaed  Finance Minister Gondwe  to testify in court on the authenticity of the forex  permit bearing his signature which has been tendered by his lawyers.

The cash stashed in suitcases reminds Malawians of the biggest corruption scandal called ‘Cashgate’ scam which involved fraudulent government payments for services not rendered and for “ghost pensions” to fictional government retirees.

Corrupt officials pocketed the money, using it to buy smart cars and mansions — or simply stuffed bundles of US dollars and Malawi kwacha in car boots, handbags and pillowcases, hence the “cash” in “Cashgate.

Chaponda is answering three charges which include giving false information to ACB, influencing a public officer to misuse his position and possession of foreign currency. He has constantly denied any wrong doing.

Political commentators have said the case of Chaponda, who is DPP vice-president responsible for its Southern Region, signifies the existence of high-level corruption in government in view of the position that he holds in the party and held in government before his dismissal.

The former minister, who is Mulanje South West member of Parliament (MP),  denies any wrong doing.

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Dziko
Guest
Dziko

Kuyipa nkhope ngati mtima wake.
He is a crook more than the late Macholowe. DPP leaders busy siphoning public funds and a minister for that matter.

Dodolido
Guest
Dodolido

Forgery.

Mavwembe Mzembe Zembe
Guest

Chaponda will rule this country after APM. Mufune musafune izi zidzachitika. Tamvana zimenezo? DPP Boooma mpaka 2089 wooooooooooooooooooo!

Victim in my own country
Guest
Victim in my own country

Zoona Zokhazokha koma dziko lake ndi lija la Thyolo Mulanje osati Malawi

Chilungamo
Guest
Chilungamo

There is overwhelming crucial and implicating circumstantial evidence of fraudulent activities in this case. The accused has also shown to be very unreliable.
Poyamba akuti ati ndalama zinali za DPP Blue night but his own colleagues akumukanira. He again fraudulently and deliberately contravened government procedures for forex transactions. Akupita kwa Goodall Gondwe instead of Reserve Bank.
And Dada Goodall has to be very careful. Mufera za eni. One Prof Magura of University of Zimbabwe is being investigated for awarding a fake PhD to Grace Mugabe. Zinthu zimasinthatu. NEVER cheat yourselves that political immunity is forever. Bwinobwinotu sekeru Gondwe.

Dipipi wa Yudiefu
Guest
Dipipi wa Yudiefu

“Good All” has of late been constantly found linked with fraudulent deals. It looks he is too old to realise that he is being taken advantage of following his advanced age. The DPP strong men may be using the old man to syphon money from government coffers for them. I now also understand why Chaponda was wondering why the finance minister is not with him on the maizegate case.

Defender of Faith
Guest

Lets vote for DPP but some personalities like Chaponda No!

zikomo
Guest
zikomo

ma stamp ama bank akuonetsa chaka cha 2016,umenewo ndi umboni woti anabadi ndala za asilikali aja anabeledwa ali ku DR CONGO

Kalawe weniweni
Guest
Kalawe weniweni

Akanganya akufuna malo a chaponda in DPP. They will do the unthinkable kuti awine.Munya DPP Still better than MCP!

Zione Kamwendo
Guest
Zione Kamwendo

Malawi Media hates this man because i hear he does not give money.Ife tidikira timve tokha ku court

Fotseki
Guest
Fotseki

Kkkkkkkk tsanu a Goodall simukagwera mu court? Uchekulu wose uwo wadada Gondwe vilekeni ivi kaleleni bazukulu kukaya. Chidada chindere ichi

Cosmus Chagwa
Guest
Cosmus Chagwa

Kodi timakati Chaponda anaba, anaba pati? Ndalama zinasowa pati?

Mona
Guest
Mona

Iwe ndi mbuli ya munthu DPP cadet opanda ntchito.

Somani Nkolokolo
Guest
Somani Nkolokolo

Komabe sikuti tingavotere Chakwera because of your lies! Viva DPP

LEGO
Guest

What else do you want for to convict and charge him?This shows that the corruption is so high in this DPP Government,its high time for us Malawians to think about.Should we vote for this corrupt DDP into office again or we vote them out and see our beloved Malawi change.Mind you,they don’t employ us by we do employ them and we have got rights to fire them out.#TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE IT BY VOTING THEM OUT#

Kho
Guest
Kho

Politics is a dirty game. People can be bought.Media can be bought.Judges can be bought. Only time shall tell, Chaponda will survive.

James Likwemba
Guest
James Likwemba

Prove beyond reasonable doubt that he stole the money.Do not assume .Substantiate .

Nabetha
Guest
Nabetha

They are confident because they rely on the ignorance of the people. Hence we need a good strategy to influence the grass roots with clear understanding of what & why?

Yakobo Mountain
Guest
Yakobo Mountain

Watchela kumwezi Nkhanga zaona

Observer
Guest
Observer

So this means nkhani za kaloswe zonse zija palibepo koma nkhani ndiyakuti anapezeka ndi ndalama zomwe akukanika kufotokoza komwe zinachokera? Interesting.

Fair Play
Guest
Fair Play

I am also shocked to learn about these charges.

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