Anti-Corruption Bureau to appeal George Chaponda case


The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has decided to appeal against the dismissal of two out of three counts in corruption case involving former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda.

On May 18 this year, the Magistrate’s Court in Zomba found that Chaponda is not guilty on all three charges of giving false information to the bureau, found in possession of foreign currency and attempting to obtain advantage.

All the counts were part of the case in which the former minister was accused of influencing Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) to contract Transglobe Exports Produce Limited in the procurement of maize from Zambia in 2016.


ACB Director General Reyneck Matemba told the media in Lilongwe on Tuesday that the bureau has resolved to ask the High Court to interpret the ruling of Zomba Chief Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha on the offence of possession of foreign currency and giving false information to the bureau.

Matemba, however, said the bureau has decided against appealing on the offence of suspected Chaponda’s attempts to obtain advantage, by instructing former Admarc Chief Executive Officer Foster Mulumbe, to offer contract to Transglobe Exports – the initial count.

“We are going to approach the High Court, seeking their interpretation of how the magistrate handled the two counts of giving false information and possession of foreign currency. We do not agree with the way the magistrate interpreted the two counts. The law allows us under the Corrupt Practices Act to investigate and prosecute any other offence that we come across in the course of investigating a suspected corrupt practice,” Matemba said.


He said, by ruling that Chaponda has no case to answer in the two counts of possessing foreign currency and giving false information, the court has put the bureau in an awkward situation on how to deal with the other offences that it comes across in investigations.

On the count of influencing Mulumbe, Matemba said the evidence that the bureau has on the matter remains the same and appealing will change nothing.

He said, when the bureau embarked on investigations, its efforts to get information from Zambia Anti-Corruption Commission yielded nothing but the bureau had to decide to take the matter to court in the face of extreme public pressure for the bureau to act.

The ACB boss said no government money was stolen in the procurement of maize from Zambia and that is the reason the bureau charged Chaponda with an attempt to influence Mulumbe and not theft as other quarters were suggesting.

“I would like to urge people out there that if there is anybody out there, including the civil society, with the so-called overwhelming evidence which we did not have to bring it forward and we will consider it.

“We only presented in court the evidence that we had. If you call it weak evidence, it is unfortunate. But we thought it was enough. If there is more apart from what we presented in court, let them bring it forward,” he said.

Matemba said what the Presidential Commission of Inquiry and Joint Parliamentary Committee Inquiry found were just red tapes and not evidence as other people think and that is the reason the two inquiries recommended that ACB should do further investigations to find evidence and prosecute if necessary.

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