The Magistrate Court in Lilongwe has granted bail to the Energy Minister Newton Kambala, Chief Presidential Advisor on Strategy, Chris Chaima Banda, and Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) president Enock Chihana.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Kambala, Chaima Banda and Chihana in connection to the botched fuel supply supply deals at the State-funded National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA).
They spent two nights in police cell before being taken to the court to be formally charged.
Kambala, Chaima Banda and Chihana have been charged with conspiracy to make a public officer to abuse public office by attempting to influence NOCMA Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Hellen Buluma, to prioritise three specific companies in the fuel importation deals late last year.
The three firms are Orxy, Finegy and Trafigura.
The trio deny the charge and pleaded not guilty.
ACB Director General Martha Chizuma told the court that the Bureau has already obtained consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to proceed with prosecution.
However, lawyer for Kambala, George Mwale, applied for bail for the minister, stressing that as the matter stands, he remains innocent until proven guilty and that the charges are not monetary.
Mwale said being a serving Cabinet minister, Kambala is not a flight risk.
Applying for bail for Chihana, Gilbert Khonyongwa said the second accused is a businessman and president of AFORD, a partner in the Tonse Alliance government.
Chizuma said ACB would not object to the bail application.
She, however, asked the court to ensure that there be a surety for each accused.
The court has since ordered the accused to pay K200,000 cash bond each and produce sureties bonded at K10 million non-cash.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :