The High Court in Blantyre has dismissed two compensation claims of Rashid Tayub, who was seeking damages for false imprisonment, and Transglobe Produce Export Limited for loss of business.
A statement issued yesterday and signed by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) spokesperson Egrita Ndala states that while both claimants were seeking costs of the action, Transglobe Produce Export Limited was also seeking compensation for damage to reputation.
Both Tayub and Transglobe Produce Export Limited were implicated in the procurement of maize from Zambia, widely known as ‘maizegate’. The two were acquitted by Zomba Magistrate’s Court while co-accused, then minister of Agriculture George Chaponda, was arrested and prosecuted.
Reads the statement in part: “However, the High Court [Justice Dingiswayo Madise] has found that contrary to the submissions by the claimants [Tayub and Transglobe Produce Export Limited], the ACB had reasonable and probable cause to arrest and prosecute the first claimant, the acquittal notwithstanding.
“Consequently, the defendants [ACB and Attorney General] cannot be held liable for taking what was a legally justifiable action in the circumstances of the case.”
The court has further ordered that the claimants pay the costs of the action.
On July 19 2017, Chaponda, who is also Mulanje West legislator (Democratic Progressive Party), was arrested alongside Tayub and businessperson and chairperson of Grain Traders Association of Malawi chairperson Grace Mijiga-Mhango in connection with the Zambian maize procurement transaction.