Graft-busting body, the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB), has concluded investigating on former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda’s involvement in the suspicious purchase of maize from Zambia, The Daily Times has learnt.
Chaponda, who is also governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice-President for the Southern Region, is at the centre of a multi-billion kwacha maize procurement scandal after findings by a joint parliamentary committee and another commission instituted by President Peter Mutharika found that his dealings with a local company, Transglobe Produce Limited, were “inappropriate, suspicious and bordering on corrupt tendencies”.
Responding to reports that were making rounds on social media alleging that the bureau was able to account for every penny that was confiscated from Chaponda’s Area 43 Residence in Lilongwe, ACB Deputy Director General, Reyneck Matemba, said he would not comment on the reports.
He was, however, quick to say the bureau concluded investigating Chaponda three weeks ago.
“The pressure that we have been getting from the public was the issue involving the confiscated money but as a bureau, we were investigating the issue as a whole. We did not have two separate issues.
“We were not investigating one aspect to say one issue of the money that was confiscated and another about the procurement of maize. We have concluded our investigations in the maize procurement issue and all the issues that surrounded this issue,” he said.
However, Matemba could not be drawn to give details of when the bureau will release the findings.
The bureau has come under fire from civil society organisations over the apparently slow pace it took to conclude the investigations.
During the 5+1 All Inclusive Stakeholders Conference organised by the Public Affairs Committee (Pac), delegates demanded government to charge Chaponda within 30 days after the conference.
Last week, Chaponda said he has always been ready to be arrested for any wrong doing, claiming he feels condemned for helping Malawians.
The procurement of maize from Zambia using a PTA Bank line of credit also saw Admarc Chief Executive Officer, Foster Mulumbe, being suspended from his post. The suspicious transactions were exposed by an opposition leader in the copper-rich nation, Saviour Chishimba.
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