The Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) has filed an application in which it appeals against the judgement made by the Zomba Chief Resident Magistrate Court to dismiss all three charges that former minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda, was answering in relation to the purchase of maize from Zambia, dubbed Maizegate.
On May 18 this year, Zomba Chief Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha found that Chaponda was not guilty on all three charges of giving false information to the bureau, being found in possession of foreign currency and attempting to obtain an advantage.
ACB has since appealed against the dismissal of two of the three counts, namely giving false information to the bureau and that of being found in possession of foreign currency.
ACB Director General, Reyneck Matemba, said yesterday that the bureau filed the application at the High Court, Zomba Registry, yesterday.
“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.
Earlier on, Matemba argued that, by ruling that Chaponda had no case to answer in the two counts of possessing foreign currency and giving false information, the court had put the bureau in an awkward position on how to deal with the other offences that its officers come across in the course of their investigations.