High Court Judge Maclean Kamwambe has expressed concern over the state delaying tactics in the K1.7 billion corruption case, warning he would take an unspecified action if the trend continued.
Kamwambe said this on Friday when the newly appointed graft busting body, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) lead prosecutor in the case, Clement Mwala asked for a month long adjournment to study the case.
“I am very disappointed with the state because of these delays. The ACB knew very well that it needed to appoint a new prosecutor yet it has taken them long to appoint,” said the seemingly angry judge.
He said the state should act with speed otherwise he would act, he did not elaborate.
Judge Kamwambe said the State should “demonstrate seriousness” in the matter and or “come out plainly on its intentions”, apparently hinting on fevered speculation that government wants the matter dropped due to lack of evidence.
The defence had asked the court too discharge Muluzi.
The former president has always said the charges were politically motivated.
The lead prosecutor in the case, Reyneck Matemba, who is also ACB’s deputy directror, recused himself a month ago, citing personal reasons.
The case has taken nine years going through three government administrations of Bingu wa Mutharika, Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika.
Mwala however assured the judge that he would move with speed as soon as he finishes studying the files and knowing the witnesses.
Judge Kamwambi then adjourned the case to September 5 to 16 and thereafter September 26 to October 7 after accusing the state of not having interest in the case.
Defense lawyer Tamando Chokotho said he would also ensure speedy trial of the case.
Muluzi, 73 is being tried along with his former secretary Lyness Whiskey as government claimed 1.7 billion Malawian kwacha ($12 million) in the former president’s account during his 1994-2004 presidency came from donors.
Court documents shows most of the funds were from his business empire Atupele Properties and donation for his political party campaign from Taiwan, Morocco and Libya.
The trial opened in 2009 but has been subjected to several adjournments, partly because of Muluzi’s hospitalizations related to spinal problems.
The state had spent as much as $12 million on the case.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :