Former President Bakili Muluzi should have his fingers crossed as the fate of his case -which the state claimed he had corruptly acquired K1.7 billion (about $11 million ) from donors in his account – will be known on May 12.
Judge Maclean Kamwambe set the date after defense lawyer Tamanda Chokotho applied to the High Court to strike off the case following the dramatic pull out of case by Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) lead prosecutor.
ACB deputy director and his two colleagues pulled out of the case on Thursday citing personal reasons.
Muluzi, who governed Malawi from 1994 to 2004, has been accused of corruption for 9 years now alongside Lyness Violet Whisky, a former personal assistant.
Matemba told the court he has opted out of the case because of a “ number of factors” and that he made the decision “after a serious reflection.”
The move has drawn mixed reactions with social commentator, Stanley Onjezani Kenani hitting back on ACB on his Facebook wall: ”The Anti Corruption Bureau is a body that has become irrelevant and must be dissolved. Toothless, useless and corrupt.”
A fierce debate is raging in social media on the matter.
Others argue that there was no case in the first place as no donor would deposit money in a personal account and that charges were pressed for political inspiration as since trial resumed on April 11 2016 over K100 million has been deducted from the K1.7 billion and the defence expressed optimism that the figures will be deducted to zero at the end of the trial.
But Matemba clarified that his recusal did not translate into the discontinuous or withdrawal of the high-profiled case by the State (ACB).
“As regards the way forward for the case, depending on what the defence will submit to you, the State in this case the Anti-Corruption Bureau will communicate to you,” he told the court.
Judge Maclean Kamwambe said after accepting Matemba’s recusal application that the State is in “total disarray” in the matter.
Lead defence counsel Tamando Chokotho made the application to the court to have Muluzi and Whisky discharged.
Judge Kamwambe said on May 12 2016 he will meet the defence and State in his chambers before making a decision on the way forward.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :