Lilongwe chief resident magistrate Madalitso Chimwaza has adjourned to Friday a ruling to commit to the High Courty of Malawi Financial Crimes Division a case against two former Cabinet ministers and others.
The adjournment was made to allow Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) lawyers time to bring evidence of a letter the bureau claimed to have sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) seeking consent to prosecute the case.
We have more in the report read by Plaxides Fomnbe
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In his adjournment, Chimwaza said: The case has been adjourned to Friday, upon the State serving on the defence, the letter written to the DPP.
In an interview following the adjournment, defence lawyer Cassius Chidothe argued that the law allows the ACB to proceed as if consent has been given if they seek consent from the DPP and 30 days elapses without any response.
He, thus, asked for evidence that the letter was indeed written and that the ACB never got a response.
He said in the absence of evidence of the letter, the court has adjourned to allow ACB to bring it.
Chidothe further said if they do what is necessary, it means that on Friday, the committal proceedings will proceed.
In the case, former Cabinet ministers Joseph Mwanamvekha and Nicholas Dausi are, alongside former Ministry of Homeland Security principal secretary Samuel Madula, chief director in the same ministry Kennedy Nkhoma and senior deputy director Patricia Liabuba, are answering charges of abuse of office in connection to a Malawi Prison Service K18 billion procurement contract. They are accused of unlawful procurement of items that included socks, underwears, steel plates, cups, cuffs, belts and whistles between February 2019 and June 2020 purchased at exorbitant prices.
The uniforms and equipment were procured from One Guard FZE of United Arab Emirates (UAE)