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Anti-Corruption Bureau accused of dragging feet in George Chaponda’s case

Lawyers representing one of the directors of Transglobe Rashid Tayub— who is second defendant in the case involving the dubious maize deal between Malawi and Zambia— have accused the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for failing to file and serve them both the disclosures and the application to consolidate cases as ordered by the magistrate’s court in Blantyre.

Tayub faces prosecution together with former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda and Grace Mijiga Mhango of Grain Traders.

Last week, Principal Resident Magistrate Simeon Mdeza ordered the ACB to serve the defence with the disclosures and file a formal application to the court for consolidation of the cases by August 31 2017.

Mdeza adjourned the case to September 14, as the day for the court to make its decision on the consolidation and transfer of the case to Lilongwe as per request by ACB.

In a court document filed by defence lawyers of Messrs Banda and Associates and Messrs Ritz Attorneys at Law, the defence allege that ACB has lost its right to file the application.

“We Messrs Banda & Associates and Messrs Ritz Attorneys, legal practitioners for the 2nd defendant, Rashid Tayub, hereby certify that; the ACB has failed to file and serve both the application and the disclosures, unless otherwise directed by the court, the ACB has lost the right to file the application for consolidation and consequently the ACB must commence prosecution or trial on the next date of hearing [September 14, 2017],” reads part of the court document.

ACB Senior Public Relations Officer Egritta Ndala referred the matter to lead defence Tamando Chokhotho.

“I consulted our legal team and they said you should check with Tamando Chokhondo, he is the lead defence and he said he will share it with the others,” she said.

However, documents that The Daily Times has seen reveal that at least three cabinet ministers have given statements and have been disclosed as witnesses.

Tayub, who was arrested by ACB in July alongside Chaponda and Mijiga Mhango, is likely to be charged with influencing a public officer to misuse his public office.

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