Sep 26, 2017 Last Updated 1:25 PM, Sep 25, 2017
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Malawians Demand Conclusion Of Capital Hill Case

The burning offices during the fire on 14 February 2017 The burning offices during the fire on 14 February 2017 Image sourced at facebook.com

The public is pushing the police to finalise investigations into the cause of a fire that gutted the Ministry of Agriculture offices in Lilongwe five months ago.

The incident occurred at a time a presidential commission had just concluded an inquiry into the suspicious events surrounding the purchase of maize from Zambia by ADMARC.

The commission had recommended that the Minister of Agriculture then, George Chaponda, be probed further for suspected involvement in the scandal.

The wing of the building that housed offices of Chaponda and the principal Secretary, Erica Maganga, was the most affected in the inferno.

Speaking to Capital FM on the streets of Blantyre CBD one Mbayani resident stressed on the need for the case to be finalised because the public has been waiting for too long.

Another woman from Machinjiri demanded that the law enforcers conclude this case and also the other cases pilling up.

She added that the time has come for the police to be professional and not be influenced outside forces when executing their duties.

Though the police instituted an investigation to establish the cause of the fire, the law enforcers say they have not concluded the investigations.

A few weeks, National Police Spokesperson James Kadadzera said the case would take long to conclude as it is a complex one and needs thorough investigations before making a conclusion.

Chaponda is currently answering charges in court,  he was charged with two criminal counts of misusing public office and possession of foreign currency without the lawful justification.

Last week, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) lined up 22 witnesses to testify against Chaponda and two others in the case relating to the Zambian maize import transactions.

Chaponda and his alleged accomplices-Rashid Tayub, director of Transglobe Produce Export Limited and Grace Mijiga-Mhango, a businessperson and chairperson of the Grain Traders and Processors Association of Malawi (GTPA) were arrested by ACB last month for their alleged roles in the dubious purchase of maize from Zambia.


In the matter, there are nine lawyers with the State legal team led by Matemba assisted by ACB principal prosecution officers Macmillan Chakhala and Imran Saidi.

On the other side, Chaponda is being represented by private practice lawyers Tamando Chokotho, Madaliso Mmeta, Frank Mbeta and Jai Banda while Tayub has Jai Banda, Lusungu Gondwe and Madalo Banda.

Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate (CRM) Simeon Mdeza had set August 9, 10, 11 and 14 for trial, but it failed due to the Judiciary support staff strike that lasted for at least four weeks.

The case has since being adjourned to September 14 2017 after the defence counsel objected to the prosecution’s intentions to make an application to consolidate the case into one charge sheet.

Last modified on Tuesday, 05 September 2017 15:02

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