Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) national organising secretary Richard Makondi has asked the High Court in Blantyre to discharge his corruption case, arguing the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has failed to prosecute him.
The application for discharge was lodged by Makondi’s lawyer, Chancy Gondwe on Wednesday.
Gondwe asked judge Healey Potani to free his client, saying since ACB cautioned hum, there has been unreasonable delay to put Makondi on trial.
He further argued that ACB decided to prosecute Makondi with what he called insufficient evidence, hence the execessive delay without taking him to court.
“The matter has stayed long without ACB taking action on him since he was cautioned,” said Gondwe.
“There is nothing taking place so he wants the bureau to prosecute him or else let the proceedings he stayed permanently,” he added.
Makondi has been under probe by the grfat-busting body for his role in supplying 35 vehicles and other accessories worth K895 million to Malawi Defence Force (MDF) in 2013.
In April last year, Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda granted Makondi an order restraining the bureau from effecting a warrant of arrest and also prosecuting them but ACB filed a notice of appeal and grounds of appeal challenging the stay.
And in January this year, the High Court has granted ACB an order identifying documents for the appeal case involving Makondi.
ACB questioned Makondi in January 2017 in connection to allegations of abuse of office when he was at Toyota Malawi after he allegedly negotiated the procurement deal, which is said to have cost government K215 million in a deal whose contract was signed by then MDF’s Clement Kafuwa and former Toyota Malawi managing director Rosemary Mkandawire.
But Gondwe told the court on Wednesday that “ACB is failing to take steps in the matter.”
Lawyer representing ACB, Kamudoni Nyasulu, argued that the bureau never decided to prosecute Makondi as it was still investigating the matter.
In addition, Nyasulu said the authority to take the matter to court lies with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) upon getting submissions on investigations from the ACB.
“The authority to make decision to prosecute is the Director of Public Prosecution and so far, she has not made a decision to prosecute because she can only make that decision after the ACB has submitted its investigations, and we are still investigating.
“So there is no reason to stop case on the basis that we don’t have evidence. We are investigating to look for that evidence before we submit our investigations to the Director of Public Prosecution to commence proceedings,” said Nyasulu.
Judge Potani will make his ruling on May 4 2018.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :