Tax-payer will be squeezed again to fork out about K30 billion if Transglobe Produce Export Limited succeeds in its compensation claim in court for loss of business and false imprisonment.
Lawyer representing Transglobe, Mwayi Banda, confirmed the legal action, saying they have engaged Ritz Attorneys at Law to sue Attorney General and the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) following Zomba chief resident magistrate Paul Chiotcha’s ruling in March this year that the company’s director Rashid Tayub had no case on corruption allegations.
Tayub was answering to the charge of persuading a public officer to misuse his position together with former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda who was also acquitted on three charges which included giving false information to ACB, influencing a public officer to misuse his position and possession of foreign currency.
The corruption-related charges were regarding the 2017 maize procurement deal from Zambia which was christened in the media as Maizegate.
Tayub was arrested on July 19 2017 alongside Chaponda, and Grace Mijiga Mhango, a businesswoman and also chairperson of the Grain Traders and Processors Association of Malawi (GTPA).
Malawi President Peter Mutharika ordered an investigation into a $34.5 million government maize order, after a Zambian opposition leader said he had seen documents showing Malawi had been charged $345 per ton for 100 000 tonnes of Zambian white maize worth $215 a ton.
Meanwhile, Tayub through his lawyers, are accusing government of unlawfully and maliciously imprisoning him and depriving him of liberty.
In sword affidavit filed in court, Tayub claims that government acted with “malice” and lacked “reasonable causes” by arresting him after failing to make proper investigations, arresting without prior investigations to establish suspicion and prosecuting despite absence of any reasonable cause.
“By reason of the matter aforementioned, the first claimant (Tayub) has suffered loss and damage, including loss of liberty, injury to his reputation, inconvenience to his business and professional career and subjected to degrading treatment while in custody,” reads the application in part.
Transglobe has filed a claim against the graft-busting body, accusing it of mounting false and malicious investigations in the absence of reasonable suspicion, failure to prosecute for any offence even after humiliating investigations; that the company was not involved in any criminal conduct; and that the ACB insisted on prosecuting Tayub despite knowing that Transglobe was suffering huge losses and damages as a result of the investigations.
But State Counsel Owen Chuma on Wednesday in the High Court filed an application that Attorney General should be removed from the case on the basis that the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) was not part of the prosecution.
The lawyers for Tayub opposed the application.
High Court is set to rule of Attorney General’s application on October 1 2018.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :