Cecilia Kumpukwe, sister to former president and People’s Party founder Joyce Banda, and other People’s Party (PP), Ackson Kalaile Banda, Stella Assani and Yesaya Mkawala have been acquitted by the court .
The State charged the PP officials with two counts of making a false document contrary to Section 353 of the Penal Code and publishing false news likely to cause fear and alarm among members of the Republic of Malawi, which is in contravention of Section 60 (1) of the Penal Code.
They were arrested in connection to a resignation letter purportedly written by Vice President Saulos Chilima.
But they argued the arrests were politically motivated and accused a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for using the police as a tool for harassing and silencing the opposition.
Their lawyers Bright Theu, Nicely Msowoya and Chimwemwe Sikwese have been arguing that the State lacked seriousness to prosecute the matter which had no evidence at all.
Senior resident magistrate (SRM) Chisomo Msokera in Lilongwe has acquitted the accused for lack of prosecution interest to commence trial.
Former President Joyce Banda described the arrest as a political witch-hunt aimed at harassing her and her family.
Reacting to the acquittal, Kumpukwe said she will have to discuss with her lawyers on thw way forward, saying a police raid at her residence and Assani’s houses led to confiscation of computers and mobile phones purportedly used in authoring the said document.
“It was not easy for me, friend and immediate family members. Life almost came to a standstill as I could not travel since my passport was seized. My reputation has been damaged, So it feels good to be exonated,” she told Times Radio.
She is likely going to claim compensation for wrongful imprisonment to be passed on to taxpayers.
“People’s perception towards me completely changed, I was defamed, anytime someone googles my name, it pops up in connection to the fabrication so it was bad,” she said.
Kalaile Banda also said he would seek compensation,Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :