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Judiciary strike affects George Chaponda case

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The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ABC) has disclosed that the case involving former minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda, businessperson, Rashid Tayub, and Grace Mijiga Mhango of Grain Traders Association will not commence tomorrow as scheduled due to the industrial strike by judiciary support staff which started last week Monday.

Last month, ACB Deputy Director, Reyneck Matemba, told The Daily Times that the bureau will make an application to consolidate the cases so that they are heard in one place.

However, this has not been the case as the bureau failed to make the application last week due to the strike.

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In an interview Monday, Matemba said due to the strike, the cases will not commence this week.

“The status remains the same. We haven’t been able to file the application for the consolidation of the two cases as a result of the industrial strike by the judiciary support staff.

“As you know, the courts aren’t functioning; the criminal registry is closed. It is, therefore, clear that the case won’t commence on the 9th of August [tomorrow] as previously scheduled,” he said.

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Matemba said ACB was supposed to start parading witnesses from tomorrow to Friday and then on Monday.

“After the three pleaded not guilty during bail application at Blantyre and Lilongwe Magistrate’s Courts, respectively, the bureau will start parading witnesses on the involvement of the three in the suspicious purchase of maize from Zambia,” he said.

Chaponda is likely to be charged with corruptly performing public functions and misuse of public office contrary to Section 25A (1), 25B (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act and Regulation 25A (1).

While Tayub is likely to be charged with influencing a public officer to misuse his public office contrary to Section 25B (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act and Mhango is likely to be charged with forgery contrary to Section 351 of the Penal Code.

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