The Magistrate Court in Blantyre has adjourned to September 14 2017 a case in which former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, George Chaponda, and his two accomplices are accused of playing a clandestine role in the maize procuring process from Zambia.
Chaponda, who is vice president of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is answering three charges of misuse of public office and influencing a public officer to misuse public office in relation to the maize issue and possession of foreign currency without the lawful justification.
The other two accused are Rashid Tayub, director of Transglobe Produce Export Limited and Grace Mijiga Mhango, a businesswoman and also chairperson of the Grain Traders and Processors Association of Malawi (GTPA).
Tayub is answering the charge of influencing a public officer to
misuse public office while Mhango was slapped with the charge of
Hearing of the case was supposed to start today when lead State
prosecutor Reyneck Matemba applied to the court to consolidate the matter before substantial trial.
ACB has two different charge sheets for Chaponda and Tayub while Mhango has her own.
But the defence counsel protested the application arguing it had come to their attention that the State was not ready with the case due to a number of reasons one of which was failure to serve it with the disclosures despite several requests.
Chief Resident Magistrate (CRM) Simeon Mdeza then adjourned the matter to September 14 when hearing should resume and further ordered the State to make a formal application on the consolidation of the case as well as serving the defence counsel with the disclosure.
The court gave the State up to Thursday this week to undertake the two tasks and further directed the defence to respond, if they have issues, by September 7 2017.