Court rules Malawi ex-President Muluzi’s case to continue

The Constitutional Court has delivered  its ruling on the corruption case involving former president Bakili Muluzi validating  Section 32 of the Corrupt Practises Act (CPA), effectively putting the 12 year’s case to proceed to trial.

Muluzi: Case has dragged for 12 years

The court ruled that the requirement to explain one’s wealth is constitutional.

The State questions the former Head of State of K1.7 billion ($12 million) during his 1994-2004 presidency which was in his personal account.

Muluzi, 74, and his former personal secretary, Lyness Whiskey, are answering the charges of corruption on the money which government alleged was public funds diverted to the former President’s personal account.

The funds were reportedly given to Muluzi directly from Taiwan, Morocco and Libya for the campaign of late Bingu wa Mutharika, his hand picked successor under United Democratic Front (UDF).

The trial begun in 2006 and to date it has not been concluded, making it one of the most dragged high-profile criminal cases in the country.

In 2011, Muluzi’s lawyers applied to the Constitutional Court to determine the constitutionality of Section 32 of the CPA, which puts the burden on the accused to prove their innocence against the general principle where the burden lies in the hands of the State.

Three judges—Sylvester Kalembera, Dorothy Nyakaunda Kamanga and Dingiswayo Madise—which formed the panel of the Constitutional Court considered the section valid, meaning Muluzi will continue standing trial and the law will remain applicable as has been the case all along.

The judges said the Corrupt Practices Act was enacted to aid the Constitution and the Penal Code to curb corruption and enhance transparency and accountability among public officials, the bedrock of trust, the basis upon which all public officers govern, adding that the section cannot result in an unfair trial.

“It would be a bad day for justice for this court or any other court to come to a conclusion that giving an accused person [a chance] to explain the source of his/her property is violating his/her right to fair trial,” Madise said

Muluzi’s lawyer Tamando Chokhotho informed the court he will appeal against the determination.

But State, represented by senior assistant chief state advocate Steve Kayuni said it was happy with the court’s outcome.

The lead prosecutor in the case, Reyneck Matemba, recused himself, citing personal reasons. He is now head of the graft-busting body Anti Corurption Bureau (ACB).

The trial opened in 2009 but has been subjected to several adjournments, partly because of Muluzi’s hospitalizations related to spinal problems. Both sides reject allegations that they have been deliberately delaying proceedings.

Local press reports indicate that the State had spent as much as $12 million on the case.

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Nyabuti
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Nyabuti

No one is above the law. It’s very evident Ache Muluzi was manipulative by leveraging a political stunt with DPP cosmetic
alliance, using his son Atupele as sacrifice to leave freely. Bravo Malawi Justice prevails where taxpayers monies is concerned.

o\'Machemba
Guest
o\'Machemba

This is NOT a case of “justice delayed, justice denied”. Not at all. Muluzi has invoked the “Nsana ukuthyoka” (illness) card ad nauseam. Who knows he’ll do the same this time around? It sure is worth spending even more than K12 mill, if only for the judicial record that he stole from the poor people of Malawi. … much like Joisi Banda – la 40 lake likubwera, ndipo lizafika – her day of reckoning is around the corner, to be sure, if she comes back from kwa Azungu or the self imposed exile. Where she’s been been living off the… Read more »

Yachimwa
Guest

Cheat us agalu inu dpp and udf fooling malawian fulltime

Zagwa
Guest
Zagwa

Even if he is not arrested, the legacy he will leave behind for future generations to see is that there was an obscene thief who was stealing from Government coffers, hindering development in the process. He was arrested in the colonial days for stealing 6 Pounds and there is that mugshot to prove it. As president, he stole billions. To this effect, even his great grandchildren will never walk tall, unless they changed names.

Kent Y.G. Mphepo
Guest
Kent Y.G. Mphepo

It is actually things like these that have contributed to lack of trust in our judicial and political systems in Malawi. It is this delayed dispensation of justice that is forcing Malawians to take the law in their hands when faced with injustice. What is special about Dr. Muluzi that his case should take 12 years before justice sees the light of day? Why are some issues dealt with so urgently and yet serious cases like this one can run for over one decade before justice can see the light of day? Why is it that hearing always coincides with… Read more »

Odala
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Odala

Majudge opanda nzeru………… why 12yrs and yet spend tax payers money $12m

Kabuchibuchi
Guest

Leave him alone please. After all he ate all his money within the country. Others go and eat stolen money in America, UK, SA. Those that flee this country with stolen money are our real enemies….not Bakili Muulupale Muluzi,

Lilime
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Lilime

Ayambe kudwala tsopano.

Masoambeta
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Masoambeta

Nsana wa a Chair uyambilanso. He will be sentenced next year when MCP is in power together with other people. We want to cleanse Malawi once and for all. Even those who did not want JB to overtake government when Bingu died will have to answer as no one is above the law. Amene atawine za Cashgate mwa chinyengo will also have to be retried, otherwise there are is a lot which has happened during these years. MWK577/MWK236B will also be priotised so that we get back what belongs to all Malawians not only a few selfish individuals whose aim… Read more »

rashid
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rashid

zizathavkoma izi??

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