Former Cabinet minister Symon Vuwa Kaunda has been granted bail by Lilongwe’s principal resident magistrate Viva Nyimba.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is accusing Kaunda, who is Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)legislator for Nkhata Bay Central and served as minister of Lands during the Peter Mutharika administration, of abuse office when he allegedly influenced the sale of public land to former minister Charles Mchacha .
The land was belonging to the Department of Forestry in Kanjedza, Blantyre.
ACB director general Reyneck Matemba said Kaunda, was implicated in the allocation of a 1.1-hectare plot to his former Cabinet colleague Charles Mchacha with 99- year lease effective July 2019 at a value of K30.5 million.
Kaunda has been charged with abuse of office and engaging in corrupt transactions with a private person which relates to allegedly offering bribes to Nation Publication journalist Boby Kabango with money amounting to K50 000.
Reading out the bail conditions, Nyimba ordered Kaunda to pay K500 000 bail bond, to present one surety bonded at K500 000 noncash, surrender travel documents to ACB and to tell his sympathisers not to interfere with ACB lawyers’ work and witnesses, failing which his bail will be revoked.
Chimwemwe Sikwese, lawyer representing Kaunda said the matter has been adjourned to January6, 2021 because ACB has not yet gotten a consent from Director of Public Prosecution to commence trial.
He said Kaunda has just been formally charged pending his plea to the charges.
ACB earlier arrested Mchacha and Ministry of Defence Principal Secretary Bright Kumwembwe on similar charges. The duo was granted bail last week
Meanwhile, a warrant of arrest for former chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Lloyd Muhara, reported to be in the United States of America.