The High Court in Blantyre has dismissed a K30 billion compensation claim which businessman Rashid Tayub and his agribusiness company Transglobe initiated against the government.
Tayub and Transglobe Produce Export Limited dragged the Attorney General and the graft busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to court to demand compensation following the dismissal of the infamous maize-gate case by a magistrate's court.
In a statement signed by ACB spokesperson Egritta Ndala it states that Tayub was seeking damages for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution, while Transglobe Produce Export Limited was seeking damages for loss of business and damage to reputation from the arrest in connection to a Zambian maize importation deal
ACB says High Court judge Dingiswayo Madise ruled that "contrary to the submissions by the claimants, the ACB had reasonable and probable cause to arrest and prosecute the claimant, the acquittal notwithstanding.
"Consequently, the defendants (Anti-Corruption Bureau and Attorney General) cannot be held liable for taking what was a legally justifiable action in the circumstances of the case," says ACB.
The court has further ordered that the claimants pat the costs of the action.
Tayub was arrested in July 2017 and charged with persuading a public officer to perform his functions corruptly contrary to Section 25A (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA) after he was implicated in the maize import scandal where former minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda was suspected to have flouted procedures when the country wanted to buy 100 000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia.
A magistrate court in Zomba acquitted both Tayub and Chaponda.