Salima North West member of Parliament (MP) Jessie Kabwila (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) has expressed concerns with continued “torture” of former president Bakili Muluzi as his 12 year old corruption case is taking long to conclude.
“This appears to be a torture to our former president. The former president [Muluzi] is our father and what we should be saying is how do we learn from him rather than saying how do we torture you.
“These are not the days of having headlines about victimizing former presidents but rather days of strengthening our democracy and show them we are proud they are still alive and still with us,” said Kabwila to reporters outside the House.
On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court in Blantyre ruled that Muluzi needs to appear before court to account for his wealth.
Kabwila further claimed the decision by the courts to uphold the section, which entails for an accused individual to prove they did not commit the crime they are being accused of was not healthy for Malawi’s democracy.
“For us here, we are politicians speaking on behalf of the masses. Now my job here is to be a representative of the people, and what we are saying is the ruling does not go well with democracy,” she said,
In Parliament Mangochi South MP Lillian Patel (United Democratic Front-UDF) said there was need for speedy prosecution of the case.
“12 years is too long… We are sick and tired of what is happening,” she said.
Leader of Opposition in the House Lazarus Chakwera suggested that it was better to give the issue time, saying Muluzi’s issue was one of national importance hence the need to discuss it in the House.
“It is no secret that I have lamented on the matter several times. The matter is of national importance that needs to be given a priority,” he said.
The State questions the former Head of State of K1.7 billion ($12 million) during his 1994-2004 presidency which was in his personal account.
Muluzi, 74, and his former personal secretary, Lyness Whiskey, are answering the charges of corruption on the money which government alleged was public funds diverted to the former President’s personal account.
The funds were reportedly given to Muluzi directly from Taiwan, Morocco and Libya for the campaign of late Bingu wa Mutharika, his hand picked successor under United Democratic Front (UDF).
The trial begun in 2006 and to date it has not been concluded, making it one of the most dragged high-profile criminal cases in the country.
The former president has denied any wrongdoing and claims the charges were politically inspired.
The trial opened in 2009 but has been subjected to several adjournments, partly because of Muluzi’s hospitalizations related to spinal problems. Both sides reject allegations that they have been deliberately delaying proceedings.
Local press reports indicate that the State had spent as much as $12 million on the case.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :