The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has accused Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe of trying to protect his “friend”, sacked Agriculture minister George Chaponda, during his testimony in the case of the Zambian maize procurement deal
ACB lead prosecutor, Macmillan Chakhala, said in court Monday during oral submissions on whether Chaponda and his co-accused Rashid Tayub, one of the directors of Transglobe Produce, have a case to answer or not.
Chakhala told the court that Gondwe gave two different statements regarding the issuance of a permit to Chaponda to possess foreign currency in Malawi.
According to Chakhala, the Finance Minister allegedly said he gave Chaponda the permit in 2004 as minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
However, during cross-examination, Gondwe said he issued the licence to Chaponda both as a minister as well as an individual.
“If you remember at first, we were doubting that letter of permit. After Goodall Gondwe owned the permit, we asked the conditions under which the permit was granted and the conditions can be seen in the permit.
“However, the permit is just three or four sentences without conditions so we are saying the moment he [Chaponda] ceased to be minister of Foreign Affairs that permit should have ceased to exist,” he argued.
The defence tried to object to what the State was saying but the magistrate ruled that they had their time to make submissions.
Earlier on in their defence of no case to answer, lead defence counsel, Tamando Chokhotho, said the State witnesses did not present enough evidence on any of the charges that Chaponda is facing.
The case has since been adjourned to May 18, 2018 when the magistrate will give his ruling on whether there is a case to answer.
Chaponda is accused of giving false information to the ACB, being found in possession of foreign currency in Malawi and attempting to obtain an advantage.
Tayub, on the other hand, is facing the charge of persuading a public officer to perform his functions corruptly
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues