Graft-busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) says it is waiting for a Supreme Court of Malawi directive in a case involving former president Bakili Muluzi.
Supreme Court and High Court registrar Agnes Patemba said the 15-year-old high profile case has stalled because Muluzi lawyers obtained an injunction in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
“This case is facing a lot of legal and operational challenges. We are all waiting for the Supreme Court ruling on the applications by the defence counsel,” said Patemba.
Muluzi was asked to explain about money into his personal bank account which was paid directy to him for the political campaign on 2014 which the State claimed was public money, charges the former president is vehemently denying.
ACB director general Reyneck Matemba, who once prosecuted Muluzi before he recused himself in the case when he was the bureau’s deputy director general, is on record having said that the case needs a political solution because it is not prosecutable.
Muluzi’s case has stalled due to numerous adjournments mainly attributed to the former president’s illness and objections from the defence.
His lawyers claimed that Muluzi’s handpicked successor, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, interfered with the operations of the ACB by ordering his arrest on corruption charges when the graft-busting body had no intention to carry out the arrest.
Second, they argued that the case was politically-motivated because Muluzi—who was head of State between 1994 and 2004—was continuously being harassed by arresting him, among others.
Matemba holds the strong personal view that no one would come at the bureau and successfully prosecute Muluzi in the case.
Actually, all presidents that came after Muluzi, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika, have seen the now 78-year-old being involved in endless court battles in the matter.
According to Matemba, the case requires political solution backed by the law, saying all relevant stakeholders must be involved, that’s the ACB, Director of Public Prosecutions [DPP], the court and Parliament through Legal Affairs Committee.
ACB directors that have overseen Muluzi’s case
- 2004 to 2006: Gustav Kaliwo, resigned shortly after he arrested Muluzi
- 2006 to 2007: The late Tumalisye Ndovi, rejected by Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament
- 2007 to 2012: Alex Nampota, re-engaged after he previously deputised the first ever ACB boss, Gilton Chiwaula in late 1990s
- 2012 to 2014: Justice Rezine Mzikamanda, returned to Judiciary, Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal
- 2014 to 2017: Lucas Kondowe, left after his three-year long contract expired
- 2017 to date: ACB director general Reyneck Matemba