Malawi’s graft busting body – Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) – has failed to take former Minister of Transport and Public Works, Charles Mchacha, to court for commencement of prosecution of in a case he is being accused of illegally acquiring land in Kanjedza Forest Reserve in Blantyre.
Early July 2022, ACB Principal Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala told Nyasa Times that the case would be returning to court in September 2022.
But barely hours before the expiry of the month, the Bureau has not yet taken Mchacha to court.
Ndala did not respond to our questionnaire on Wednesday when we sought to verify if the case would still go to court or not.
Mchacha was arrested in November 2021 over allegations that he used short-cuts to acquire land at the said forest.
However, the Bureau has not made any progress in prosecuting the case.
The then Senior Resident Magistrate Shyreen Chirwa committed the case to the High Court of Malawi albeit an objection from the defence lawyer, Chancy Gondwe.
Since then, the dutifully taxpaying Malawians have not heard anything about the progress ACB is making on the case.
Mchacha’s arrest followed a complaint ACB received on 12th February, 2020, alleging that the Department of Lands leased Plot Number LW 1366 (Kanjedza Forest) belonging to the Department of Forestry to Charles Mchacha without following proper procedures.
ACB instituted investigations into the complaint and established that Mchacha induced public officers to perform their functions corruptly in relation to the grant of the lease.
He was subsequently charged with the offence of inducing a public officer to perform functions corruptly contrary to Section 25A (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
On the other hand, Kumwembe was charged with the offence of giving false information to the ACB and neglect of official duty contrary to Section 14 (1) (a) of the Corrupt Practices Act and Section 121 of the Penal Code, respectively.
The two were taken to the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court where they were released on bail after satisfying the following bail conditions:
• Produced a cash bond of MK500, 000.00 each
• Produced one surety, each bonded at MK500, 000.00 not cash.
• Surrendered travel documents to Court.
• Ordered to report at ACB offices once every fortnight on Fridays.
• Ordered not to interfere with state witnesses.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :