Ex-MHC boss Matiya discharged in housing scam

The Blantyre Magistrates Court has thrown out a high profile case involving former General Manager of Malawi housing Corporation (MHC), Golden Grant Matiya , who was answering two charges of abuse of office  when he purchased MHC  house and  did not declare interest as stipulated in MHC corruption prevention policy, Nyasa Times can reveal.

Matiya came under heavy pressure in April this year when it was revealed that MHC had sold houses for a song mainly to influential people and politicians and made a loss of a whopping K105 million.  The politicians included late President Bingu Mutharika’s brother, Peter

Apart from facilitating the sale of the houses to the politicians and influential people, Matiya bought a house at K2.6 million after getting a discount of about 33 %.

Matiya: Discharged

However, Matiya’s legal counsel had argued in the court that the prosecution was illegal as the graft bursting body, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), did not seek consent from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) as recommended by law.

The defence attorney also argued  that the prosecution failed to produce any tangible evidence since commencement of the case last year.

The argument convinced Magistrate Innocent Nebi who therefore ruled in favour of the defendant.

“It’s true Mr. Matiya as we are speaking is free person following decision by the court to discharge him,” said Matiya’s defence attorney Lusungu Gondwe of Ralph & Arnolds in an interview with the Nyasa Times soon after the ruling on Monday.

“ We argued that the ACB cannot continue with prosecution without consent from the DPP,” he added.

Gondwe told Nyasa Times: “The other issue is that prosecution team led by Mr. David Bandawe failed to produce evidence in court to back their charges despite various attempts we made on our part for the need to so.

“This surely made us to come to the conclusion that they did not have tangible evidence for the case hence the dilly dallying. As such it pleased his worship Magistrate Nedi to throw the case out.”

Following the arrest both Matiya and Former Assistant General Manager (Technical) Floyd Mondiwa  lost their jobs and it is not known if he is going to be reinstated but his post at MHC has already been filled.

Matiya, a graduate of the University of Malawi in 1979 and holder of an MBA from De Montfort University, Leicester in England joined MHC on September 15, 2008.

The prosecution of MHC officials by ACB was regarded by many Malawians as a ‘missed link’ arguing that the anti-graft body would have instead wasted its energy and resources on bringing to book the ‘big fish’ in this case the senior DPP gurus that were implicated in the scam than going after Matiya and his deputy.

Meanwhile, Nyasa Times understands that Mondiwa’s case is still in court because the two accomplices were being prosecuted separately.

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