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State lawyers in the maizegate case have asked Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate Simeon Mdeza to recuse himself after he appeared to speak positively about Transglobe.

The state also want the case in which former Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda and Transglobe director Rashid Tayub are answering corruption related charges in connection to the maizegate scandal to be moved to High Court from the Magistrate court.

George-Chaponda

The application for Mdezas recusal on Tuesday morning came after the magistrate on Thursday in his private chambers said that “Transglobe is a good taxpayer”.

However defense lead counsel Tamando Chokhotho argued that the application by the state is misplaced because when the magistrate made the statement in question, he was repeating what the accused person Tayub of Transglobe had said.

On its application to move the case to High Court, the prosecution team said it is worried about the Magistrates security since he expressed issues of insecurity.

ACB lead counsel Macmillan Chakhala told the court that high court judges have detailed security hence a high court judge will be well placed to preside of the case.
In his ruling on the two issues, Magistrate Mdeza told the state to make a fresh application.

The magistrate said he will use the fresh application to decide whether to recuse himself and move the case to High Court.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to Wednesday.

Chaponda who was arrested in July is facing charges of corruptly performing public functions, misuse of public office, and possession of foreign currency.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges. Tayub also pleaded not guilty to the charge of influencing a public officer to misuse his office.



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