The case of British charity volunteer Mary Woodworth, 46, who runs the Friends of Mulanje Orphans (FOMO) in Malawi took a dramatic twist on Wednesday when her legal team discovered she was being prosecuted on a case which was discharged in 2010.
Woodworth was arrested last year after being accused of a string of offences including trespass; conduct likely to cause breach of the peace and thefts in the land dispute involving Chitakale Tea Plantations owned by business tycon Leston Mulli.
Woodworth’s attorney Patrick Mpaka’s prolific legal skills opened the pandoras box of deceit by the prosecution who could not provide a legitimate letter of consent from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
He told the Mulanje Magistrate Court that the documents used against Woodworth “were previously discharged” by the same Magistrate Tsoka Banda.
Cross examining the document, Mpaka realized that the DPP issued consent to a private practise lawyer Noel Chalamanda to be the one prosecuting the case scheduled for 2010, but the case was dismissed due to lack of commitment from the prosecution.
It was at this time that Woodworth left Malawi for the UK where she has citizenship.
On her return to carry out work for her orphanage, police confiscated the charity boss’ passport and reopened the old case, this time with a different lawyer “posing” as a state prosecution, Frank Pemba.
In his submission to the court, Mpatsa dismissed Pemba as “an imposter” in the case for failing to produce express consent from the DPP.
The matter has been adjourned to Tuesday next week.
The land in dispute which Supreme Court ruled belonged to Woodworth and her aunt Lisnet Gremu, has since been given to Dave Kanyoza, a business associate of Mulli.
Fomo orphanages reach out to over 5,000 children, through its 13 centres covering over 80 villages in Mulanje district.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :