ZOMBA-(MaraviPost)-Acting Chief Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotha on Friday acquitted the Former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda an all three counts he was answering.

Chaponda was answering three charges include giving false information to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), influencing a public officer to misuse his position and possession of foreign currency.

This comes a month after the same court ordered Reserve Bank of Malawi to give back millions of Kwachas found by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) stashed inside suitcases hidden in the bedroom of his bedroom during a search.

Between US$58,000 and MK124 million in cash was found after a search at Chaponda’s home last year following investigations in the procurement of maize from Zambia.

Chaponda claimed the money belongs to the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The former minister applied to court that the money should be given back as it had not been proved to be proceeds of illicit activities or money laundering.

The court ordered ACB, who hade deposited the money at Reserve Bank of Malawi, to surrender the money.

Chaponda justified why he is cash-rich, saying he has worked for the United Nations (UN) for over 20 years and has his own investments.

The former cabinet minister also submitted his assets declaration form to ACB which indicates he hold many bank accounts in foreign countries where he worked for UN.

A lists of assets Chaponda declared as of February 1, 2017 shows that he has 20 real estate properties in Lilongwe, Blantyre, France, Luchenza, Mangochi, Thyolo and Chiradzulu.

According to Chaponda declaration, the source of funds for the property, valued at MK853 million, included bank loans and his earnings from the UN, United Kingdom, South Africa, France and his children abroad and Chaponda investments.

Chaponda is answering three charges which include giving false information to ACB, influencing a public officer to misuse his position and possession of foreign currency.

He was arrested by ACB in July last year on suspicion of corruption relating to procurement of the K26 billion maize from Zambia.

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