Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislator fro Kasungu South East, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has asked the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to drop the case of former president Bakili Muluzi’s allged K1.7 billion corruption case, saying it is taking long to conclude and only torturing him.
Chiponda’s request through a supplementary question in Parliament on Tuesday came as the court is on March 24 2020 expected to resume hearing Muluzi’s case.
Muluzi, 77 is being tried along with his former secretary Lyness Whiskey as government claimed 1.7 billion Malawian kwacha ($12 million) in the former president’s account during his 1994-2004 presidency came from donors.
But court documents shows most of the funds were from his business empire and donation for his political party campaign from Taiwan, Morocco and Libya.
In parliament, Chiponda, a great grand –niece of the country’s funding president Ngwazi Hastings Kamuzu Banda, observed: “ The case has dragged for too long and I wonder if government could drop the charges.”
The legislator continued: “Dr Bakili Muluzi is the father of democracy in Malawi. It’s amusing that the case only gets revived during elections period.”
Malawi is set to hold fresh presidential elections on May 19 2020.
Chiponda said: “The former president is ageing. I feel the case has become torturous to him and it is costing taxpayers money.”
In his response, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Bright Msaka asked Chiponda to submit a fresh question for a detailed response.
“The matter is in court, therefore, the minister and the ministry cannot comment much on matters that are in court.
“But I want to agree with her about all the nice things that she has said about Dr Bakili Muluzi. I entirely agree eith her. I could say more, but not this time. But I agree wth her,” Msaka said.
Graft-busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Reyneck Matmeba recently said says the 14-year-old Muluzi case needs political solution.
In an interview with a local radio station, the ACB czar Reyneck Matemba doubted if the case can come to a conclusion using the judiciary.
“My own personal opinion is that the case needs a political solution, that is my personal opinion,” said Matemba without explaining much.
Matemba, a practising lawyer, recused himself from prosecuting the case, citing personal reasons when he was deputy director at ACB.
His former boss director Lucas Kondowe had been on record saying he had serious “reservations” with certain aspects of the K1.7 billion corruption case.
The former ACB boss said before he joined the bureau, his opinion of the Muluzi case was like most people, “which was an opinion driven by the media reports that I had read from various sources.”
Kondowe said when he became head of ACB he requested to review the files to “understand the facts of the case thoroughly instead of just receiving the button and running with it.”
He said: “This is one of the best documented cases I have ever seen at the Bureau with over 16 files of material and a great amount of money spent travelling across the globe, conducting interviews and collecting data and various materials. Thanks to the British government which financed most of this work.
“I have also held private discussions with two of my predecessors who presided as DG(s) at the material time. I will not discuss the details of those discussions as they were private. I have enormous respect and admiration for these two great sons of Malawi for their service to the nation.”
Kondowe said:”I have expressed reservations with certain aspects of the case which I have discussed with my colleagues at the Bureau in great detail. We have had numerous debates on certain matters that I feel strongly about and would like these resolved as they would have dire consequences.”
The former president has always said the charges were politically motivated.
The defence had asked the court to discharge Muluzi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :