One more suspect arrested over maizegate

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The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested Director of Trans-globe Export Produce Limited Rashid Tayub following investigations into the procurement of maize from Zambia.

This follows the arrest of former Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda.

According to Senior Public Relations Officer for the ACB Egritta Ndala, the bureau’s investigations established that there were offences committed in the procurement of maize from Zambia hence the arrest of Tayub.

Tayub is likely to be charged with influencing a public officer to misuse his public office contrary to Section 25B (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act.

In December, 2016, ACB recorded a complaint alleging that procurement procedures were not followed in the procurement of maize from Zambia by ADMARC and 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 bureau conducted a search and seizure operation on various premises after it obtained search and seizure warrants from the court.

Meanwhile, the ACB has assured the general public that it remains an independent professional institution which operates independently without any influence from any one.

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

She added that 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,” said Ndala.

According to Ndala, in some cases where accused persons are members of parliament, parliamentary immunity when they are sitting in parliament may also delay such processes.

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