The Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court has allowed National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) deputy chief executive officer Ms Hellen Buluma to tender her call recordings in court in a case former UTM party sponsored Energy Minister Newton Kambala and two others are accused of influencing the awarding of fuel contracts at the State run fuel company.
Politicians Kambala, Aford President Enoch Chihana and former presidential adviser and strategist Chris Chaima Banda are being accused of trying to force Buluma to award contracts to some companies.
Buluma wants to tender some call recordings where the accused persons were trying to influence her to award fuel contracts to some companies.
The defense was objecting to this describing the evidence as not admissible as it was recorded without the consent of the accused persons thereby violating the accused persons’ constitutional right to privacy.
But High Court Judge Patrick Chirwa who is sitting as Chief Resident Magistrate in the case has ruled in favor of the State saying the evidence is admissible.
After the ruling, the Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court heard a recording between Buluma and Chaima Banda in which President Lazarus Chakwera is allegedly being mentioned as the one behind the choice of Finergy Petroleum as one of the suppliers of fuel to NOCMA.
In the 52 minute recording, Chakwera is being referred to as the “Principal” , “HE” and “His Excellency”.
According to the clip, a voice purportedly of Chaima Banda claims that the Principal had vested interests in the fuel contracts and wanted Malawians to benefit from the deal hence directing him and Enock Chihana another suspect to play their respective roles .
Chaima Banda is heard telling Buluma that the President wanted Finergy to commit that the company would undertake some corporate social responsibilities such as rehabilitating health centres, as part of the deal.