DPP hits back at PP, says Uladi arrest was procedural not politically-motivated

Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson Francis Kasaila has described as childish, Peoples Party (PP) assertions that its acting president Uladi Mussa was arrested on politically motivated charges.

Kasaila: The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Mussa on charges of negligence and abuse of office

The PP acting leader was arrested after he handed over himself to Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) which accuses him of corruptly receiving money when he was Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security over three years ago.to naturise 50 foreigners.

Mussa, who is accused of having appended his signature to the said irregularities, was charged along with former senior assistant chief immigration officer David Kwanjana, who also denied the charges.

Peoples Party secretary general Ibrahim Matola said Mussa was arrested as a ploy by government to divert peoples attention from fromer afrgriculture minister George Chaponda issue.

However, Kusaila told PP officials to be civilised, saying the DPP cannot order or interfere with the arrest of any one.

“As a country, we should not be politicising prosecuting state agencies. The ACB and the police work independent of the executive. The PP officials are just being childish,” he said.

He said everyone in Malawi wondered how foreigners got hold of the Malawi passports and after a thorough investigations, the ACB suspects Mussa was involved along with other senior Immigration Department officials.

“There is nothing political. Let the ACB do its job,” said Kasaila, adding, “we should trust our governance institutions. He has been under investigations since 2015.”

However, Mussa described his arrest as political witch-hunt and political persecution.

He said he gave out the Malawi passports legally and there was nothing suspicious.

Addressing PP after pleading not guilty to the charges at the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court, Mussa said the arrest was not his first.

“I was also arrested in Nkhotakota and, as I am talking now, I have another case in Blantyre where I am being told to pay K105 million for terminating a contractor who was doing shoddy work. Now, what was I supposed to do (with the contractor)?” he queried, vowing to fight on for his rights and freedoms.

“I know that these charges fall in the same line. As a minister, I couldn’t have just handed over passports to foreigners. This is a process, and all applications go through a committee, then through the PS [principal secretary], then finally me. There was no way I could have signed without proper verifications,” Mussa said.

He was referring to the fact that his charges are based on what is alleged to have been his final authorisation to an apparent irregular process that saw the Immigration Department granting citizenships and passports to immigrants from neighbouring countries.

Mussa denied any wrong doing.

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