Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director Lucas Kondowe has said he has serious “reservations” with certain aspects of the K1.7 billion corruption case involving former president Bakili Muluzi.
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 lead prosecutor in the case, Reyneck Matemba, who is also ACB’s deputy directror, recently recused himself a month ago, citing personal reasons.
In a newspaper interview, ACB boss said he could not comment much on the case as it is before the courts.
However, he said before he joined the bureau, his opinion of the Muluzi case was like most people, “which was an opinion driven by the media reports that I had read from various sources.”
Kondowe said when he became head of ACB he requested to review the files to “understand the facts of the case thoroughly instead of just receiving the button and running with it.”
He said: “This is one of the best documented cases I have ever seen at the Bureau with over 16 files of material and a great amount of money spent travelling across the globe, conducting interviews and collecting data and various materials. Thanks to the British government which financed most of this work.
“I have also held private discussions with two of my predecessors who presided as DG(s) at the material time. I will not discuss the details of those discussions as they were private. I have enormous respect and admiration for these two great sons of Malawi for their service to the nation.”
Kondowe said:”I have expressed reservations with certain aspects of the case which I have discussed with my colleagues at the Bureau in great detail. We have had numerous debates on certain matters that I feel strongly about and would like these resolved as they would have dire consequences.”
The former president has always said the charges were politically motivated.
Recently, Judge Maclean 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 to discharge Muluzi.
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