Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal judge Healey Potani and High Court judge Dingiswayo Madise on Monday took to the witness box where they gave their testimony as the witness of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in a case where business mogul Thomson Mpinganjira is accused of attempting to bribe Constitutional Court judges.
Testifying before presiding Judge Dorothy De Grabielle , Justice Potani told the court that Mpinganjira called him and told him that he is running a project and, in the conversation, referred to him as “chair” which made him have some reservations.
Potani says the conversation which he didn’t record, was brief.
He however said: “I wish I recorded that conversation.”
After Potani finished tendering his evidence, ACB paraded its third witness in the case, Judge Dingiswayo Madise.
Madise told the court that Judge Mike Tembo – who was the first to testify in the case – alerted fellow judges that Mpinganjira wanted to have Potani’s number and upon having a discussion over it, they had no serious reservations because of the calibre of Mpinganjira in society.
He said they agreed to give Mpinganjira the number for Justice Potani.
Madise said the judged they had the conversation at Ufulu Gardens in Lilongwe when they were waiting for their convoy to go to court.
During his testimony, he also told the court that Mpinganjira complained to Judge Tembo that Potani was being evasive in receiving the parcel which contained money.
At this point, Mpinganjira wanted to give the parcel to Judge Tembo that he could deliver it to Potani himself which he declined.
He said Potani then suggested that they should report the matter to the Chief Justice who should in turn report to the ACB.
Madise further told the court that Mpinganjira, in a conversation with his cousin Brown Mpinganjira a politician and spokesperson of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was told that Potani was receiving the money which Madise said no judge received.
The court adjourned the case to 2pm on Tuesday when the fourth witness Judge Redson Kapindu is expected to be cross-examined.
ACB director Reyneck Matemba has told the court that Kapindu is in Mangochi and that he will be available in the afternoon.
He has also told the court that they will be concluding testifying on Friday when their last witnesses, that include Judge Ivy Kamanga and ACB’s three of its investigators as will testify as witnesses.
During the trial it has been noted that the judges did not report Mpinganjira’s alleged bribery attempt to ACB within 48 hours as stipulated by the Corrupt Practices Act.
Mpinganjira is answering charges under the Corruption Practice Act. The charges include offering an advantage to a public officer, attempting to induce public officers to exercise functions of their offices corruptly and purportedly attempting to influence public officers by offering K100 million to Constitutional Court judges.
He was arrested on January 22, 2020 following a formal complaint from Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda to the ACB on November 28, 2019 that two of the five judges hearing the presidential election nullification petition case reported bribery attempts.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :