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Court resumes Uladi case: Mankhwala says ex-minister was misled to sign documents

The High Court in Lilongwe on Tuesday resumed hearing of a case in which former minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Uladi Mussa is answering charges of aiding at least 55 foreigners to illegally obtain citizenship while he was a Cabinet minister.

Mussa said at the time in the opposition said his arrest was politically-motivated

First State witness, former chief Immigration officer Hudson Mankhwala, continue to testify.

During cross examination, Mankhwala  said Mussa, now governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president for the  Central Region, but then serving in the People’s Party (PP) administration,  was misled when he signed documents to facilitate processing of work permits for foreign nationals.

Mankhwala told the court that Mussa was not a technical person to verify some things and “he was misled into believing that the file was authentic.”

In his testimony, Mankhwala said Mussa based his decision on “recommendations.”

In an earlier testimony, Mankhwala outlined the process for obtaining various permits such as student, visitors, citizenship, temporary residence and permanent residence.

State prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu told the court before parading the first witness, in earlier court appearance that evidence would show that staff at the Immigration Department and members of the public eclipsed senior public service management on the pretext of serving leadership at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security.

The prosecutor said this incompetence created a fertile ground in the ministry for fraud.

The State has said it will parade five more witnesses after Mankhwala.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Mussa in March 2017 on charges of negligence and abuse of office but Mussa said at the time in the opposition said his arrest was politically-motivated.

He handed himself to the ACB after reports surfaced that the bureau wanted to arrest him in relation to the granting of citizenship and passports.

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