Judiciary spokesman Mvula released on court bail

Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula who was arrested by Anti Corruptiob Bureau (ACB) last week on allegation that he corruptly solicited sums of money and other favours from the United Methodist Church in the names of High Court Judges and the Attorney General’s office has been released on by Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court.

Judiciary spokesman Mlenga Mvula: On bail

Mac Millan Chakhala representing ACB asked the court to allow them to continue keeping Mvula and his accomplice reverend Daniel Mhone in custody up until next week Tuesday for the bureau had not yet recorded a caution statement from them.

Chakhala told the court they had not yet taken caution statements from the two accused persons because ACB was busy interviewing witnesses for the case.

However, defence lawyer Chancy Gondwe argued that the two, like any suspect, had a right to be released on bail as provided for in section 42 (2) of the republican constitution.

Gondwe argued that the release of accused persons on bail is a fundamental right.

“The state has not made sufficient presentation on why the accused persons should not be released on bail. The fact that the state has failed to record a caution statement from the accused persons should not be a ground to deny them bail,” he stated, adding that pre-trial detention should not be used as punishment to the accused persons.

Chief Resident Magistrate Simeon Mdeza told the court that the two were brought before court to be informed on why the state wanted to continue keeping them in custody and to notify them of the charges laid against them.

He then granted bail to the two on conditions that they surrender travel documents to ACB , present themselves to ACB once every fortnight until the conclusion of the case, to be present during trial and  not to interfere with witnesses.

They have also been bonded with cash of K25, 000 each while their sureties are bonded with K100 000 non cash.

In a media statement, dated September 1, 2017 and signed by ACB senior public relations officer Egret Ndala, in 2016 and 2017, Mvula, had on several occasions demanded various sums of money amounting to K10.7 million from the United Methodist Church through Reverend Daniel Mhone, the Executive Church Member and Conference Superintendent.

Mlenga who is a member of the church himself allegedly solicited the money to influence the outcome of a court case involving reverend Jawati and the United Methodist Church.

“This money was purportedly meant for the Attorney General’s office, judges, the Judiciary and Mr. Mlenga Mvula for influencing the outcome of a court case involving Reverend Jawati and the United Methodist Church,” the statement reads in part.

According to Ndala, Mlenga is likely to be charged with obtaining
money by false pretences contrary to Section 319 of the Penal Code and misuse of public office contrary to Section 25B (1) of the Corrupt
Practices Act.

The case has been adjourned to a later date when the accused persons will be formerly charged and take plea.

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