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ACB arrests former minister of Agriculture George Chaponda and Grace Mijiga Mhango

George Chaponda
George Chaponda

In December, 2017, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, recorded a complaint alleging that procurement procedures were not followed in the procurement of maize from Zambia by ADMARC.

The Anti- Corruption Bureau has been conducting investigation into the matter.

The Bureau sent its officers to Zambia in January, where they together with the Anti-Corruption Commission of Zambia, interviewed various people whom it felt had information relevant to the matter.

On 21st February, 2017, the Anti-Corruption Bureau conducted a search and seizure operation on various premises after it obtained search and seizure warrants from the court.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau investigation had established that there were offences committed in the procurement of maize from Zambia.

On 14th July, 2017, the Bureau obtained a warrant of arrest for the suspects. On 19th July, 2017, the Anti-Corruption Bureau executed the warrants on the three.

Hon. Dr. Chaponda is likely to be charged with corruptly performing public functions, misuse of public office, and possession of foreign currency, contrary to section, 25A(1), 25B (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act, and Regulation 25A(1) of the Exchange Control Regulations, as read with Section 3 of the Exchange Control Act, respectively.

Ms. Grace Mijiga Mhango is likely to be charged with forgery, contrary to Section 351of the Penal Code.

The Bureau has in recent times come under intense pressure, and scrutiny on this matter, others suggested we were under instruction from the executive to obstruct justice in this matter for political reasons.

We wish to make it clear to the public and all stakeholders that the ACB remains an independent professional institution which operates independently without any influence from any one. The process of investigations can be complicated and needs to be conducted with due process and detailed care.

The Bureau empathizes with the concerns of the public for speedy investigations but in a democracy, such calls need to be balanced with the due process required under the law.

It should also be understood that in some cases where accused persons are members of parliament, parliamentary immunity when they are sitting in parliament may also delay such processes.

Like all accused persons, the accused remain innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law.

They will be taken to Court after the Bureau has recorded caution statements from them.


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