Former cabinet minister Patricia Kaliati will from October 1 face prosecution on corruption allegations and abuse of office.
Kaliati, while serving as Minister of Gender, Children and Community Development, influenced Ministry of Education officials to admit 76 students into various secondary schools in the Shire Highlands Division.
Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) investigated the matter – exposed by Weekend Nation newspaper on September 19 2009 -and strongly concluded that the former minister may have committed offences under the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA).
The Director of Public Prosecutions gave ACB consent to prosecute Kaliati for corruption and abuse of office but the fired ACB director Alex Nampota did nothing about it.
Kaliati, a senior member of opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) alongside her brother Clement Nkuya, have been charged with influencing or inducing a public officer to abuse office contrary to Section 25B (2) of the Corruption Practices Act (CPA).
According to the charge sheet in criminal case number 84 of 2013 , Kaliati and her accomplices have been summoned to appear before the Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court in Blantyre on October 1 2013 to answer the charges.
ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala confirmed the matter goes to court on October 1 2013 for plea.
The ACB report says Kaliati influenced the admission of 76 pupils to Phalombe, Mulanje, Thyolo, Luchenza and Chiradzulu secondary schools as a campaign tool to win votes in the 2009 parliamentary elections.
But Kaliati claims the charges are unwarranted, saying “I didn’t do anything wrong in that issue.”
According to the bureau, they received a complaint on September 22, 2009, alleging that Kaliati, with the help of assistant chief education officer Oscar Maganga and others, manipulated systems to place the students, whom she described as “needy” in secondary schools without the minister responsible and other senior officials in the ministry knowing.
The admission of the 76 pupils led to the interdiction of Maganga but he was later cleared of wrong doing.
ACB report claims that interviews with Ministry of Education officials, head teachers, DPP constituency officials in Mulanje West, students and parents all pointed to wrong doing on the part of Kaliati and her co-accused- Maganga, Nkuya and education division manager Hazel Manda.
The ACB report says: “Hon. Kaliati was corruptly using the admission of boys and girls from her constituency to secondary schools in Shire Highlands Education Division in order to win votes from the electorates during the 19 May 2009 general elections, contrary to Section 26 (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
The section reads: “Any person who by himself, or by or in conjunction with any other person, corruptly gives, promises or offers any advantage to any person, whether for the benefit of that person or of any other person, as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do, or for having done or forborne to do, anything in relation to any matter or transaction, actual or proposed, with which any private body is or may be concerned shall be guilty of an offence.”
According to published reports most of the pupils that Kaliati allegedly pushed into secondary schools actually failed PSLC and were, therefore, not eligible for the placesFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :