BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The High Court judge Dingiswayo Madise on Wednesday dismissed the State’s application to transfer to the High Court a case in which former minister of Agriculture, Water Development and Irrigation George Chaponda is accused of corruption.

The judge says he is of the view that the certificate issued to commit the matter to the High Court was unreasonable and lacked merit.

Madise has since transferred the matter from the Chief Resident Magistrate in Blantyre to Chief Resident Magistrate in Zomba and has also ordered that the case start within 21 days.

Both the defence, which had applied for judicial review of the case, and the State which wanted the case to be heard by the High Court and not Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate Simeon Mdeza, say they are happy with the court’s determination.

The high court is expected to hear arguments from the ACB and defence attorneys on whether the case should go back to the lower court.

The ACB earlier expressed dissatisfaction with magistrate Simeon Mdeza and asked for his recusal which he denied.

The graft busting body through its lawyers obtained a certificate from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to commit the case to the high court.

The defence fought the decision by applying for a stay order and a judicial review on the same.

Lawyers representing Rashid Tayub of Transglobe Tuesday morning wanted not to be party to the judicial review process but the ACB has refused to agree on the proposition.

Chaponda and Tayub are accused of corrupt practices in the purchase of maize by the Malawi government from Zambia early last year when the country faced hunger.

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