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ACB gives back K29 million to George Chaponda

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The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has given back to former Agriculture minister, George Chaponda, the K29 million which was part of the money seized from his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe last year.

The decision to surrender part of the money follows a court order after Chaponda’s lawyer tendered documents showing that the K29 million came from the former minister’s account.

ACB Director, Reyneck Matemba, confirmed the development Tuesday, saying the bureau has given back the money because, according to their findings, the money is not linked to the three charges Chaponda is facing.

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“The other money that we confiscated from his house has not been given back because we found evidence of criminality. We still have the K95 million which Chaponda said belonged to the Democratic Progressive Party and the foreign currency,” Matemba said.

In February last year, the ACB confiscated K124 million cash from Chaponda, as well as $57,000 and smaller amounts in other currencies. The money was being kept by the Reserve Bank of Malawi.

“Because of the public attention that has been generated by this case, we did not want to do this in the office or administratively. We asked lawyers representing Chaponda to go to court to get an order ordering us to give back the money and that is what has happened,” Matemba said

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“We did this because we wanted transparency. We know we will be rebuked and lambasted from left to right but our conscience is clear. We cannot continue to keep money we have no charge against,” he said.

The graft-busting body also confiscated computers, files and other office equipment belonging to Transglobe Produce Exports and the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation.

Chaponda is being accused of giving false information to the ACB, being found in possession of foreign currency in Malawi and attempting to obtain an advantage.

On the other hand, Rashid Tayub, who is one of the directors of Transglobe Produce Exports, is facing the charge of persuading a public officer to perform his functions corruptly.

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