The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Reyneck Matemba has said the K2.7 billion Malawi Police Service (MPS) food rations deal case involving businessperson Zameer Karim and two senior police officers is expected to go for trial in six weeks when the court sets the date.
Matemba said the bureau has finished compiling all the disclosures, saying the matter has delayed because there are “volumes and volumes” of the disclosures.
He said the graft-busting body was set to prosecute the case and will be.awaiting the court to set the date for hearing.
“We hope to commence trial of this case in six weeks time,” said Matemba.
The three—Karim, Commissioner of Police Innocent Bottoman and Senior Superintendent Grant Kachingwe—are accused of conspiring to use public office for the advantage of Karim, trading as Pioneer Investments, to arbitrarily obtain K2.7 billion from Malawi Government.
The trio was arrested in December 2018 following revelations of suspected dubious transactions in the food rations contract.
Zameer Karim is being represented by lawyer Frank Mbeta.
The case generated intense public interest after a leaked ACB investigation report showed that Karim deposited K145 million in a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) bank account at Standard Bank whose sole signatory was President Peter Mutharika.
The party denied wrong-doing or that it benefitted from an alleged corruption deal, but later, through spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, made an undertaking to refund Karim’s donation.
Initially, Karim and the two police officers were charged with various offences such as theft and acquiring proceeds of crime amounting to K466 million.
Records of case number 1586 of 2018 show that Karim and Bottoman were charged with three counts, respectively, while Kachingwe, the third accused person, faced one charge.
But the ACB later amended the charges to include money laundering, conspiracy, influencing the use of public office and use of public office for one’s advantage contrary to Section 25 b (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
Following the arrests, MPS interdicted Bottoman and Kachingwe. Bottoman was accused of having unilaterally made an undertaking and commitment to CDH Investment Bank for Karim to access a loan.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :