Private practice lawyer Frank Mbeta through lawyer Lusungu Gondwe, has accused Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Lucas Kondowe of “flirting” with Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda after he refused to be served with a High Court order stopping his institution from arresting Mbeta.
Mbeta, who had a warrant of arrest hanging over his head, obtained an order from the High Court in Zomba on Monday to stop the ACB from arresting him.
Kondowe is reported to have accepted service of the order after he telephoned Chief Justice.
In an affidavit of service for the judicial review of case number 16 of 2015, Gondwe said ACB boss has lawyers within the bureau and also the Attorney General’s Chambers to consult on matters of legal issues and not consulting the Chief Justice.
“Better still, you would have appointed external lawyers to render legal services to you. Certainly, you should not have ‘flirted’ with the office of the Honourable the Chief Justice,” reads the affidavit.
The lawyer said Kondowe’s consultation with the Chief Justice is faulted on two fronts:
“It slaps in the face all principles of separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary; and it impairs judicial independence.”
Lawyer Gondwe stated that State organs like the ACB “must know not to transcend in their engagement with the Judiciary. It is dangerous, in an open and democratic society, for the office of the ACB Director and that of the Chief Justice to mix and mingle just anyhow.”
The lawyer asked ACB boss not to bring the Chief Justice in “circumstances that will take away public confidence in the administration of justice.”
The Chief Justice has since called for a case file from the High Court in Zomba.
Disagreements have risen between Kondowe and Mbeta relating to investigations into the mysterious K2 million deposit into Kondowe’s First Merchant Bank (FMB) account.
ACB summoned a businessperson, Karamat Ullah Chaudhry, who is being regarded as prime suspset in connection with the K2 million deposit.
However, Mbeta, who was engaged by the entrepreneur for legal advice before he responded to the summon, advised his client not to go to the ACB’s Blantyre office.
Mbeta instead took his client to the Fiscal Police. A warrant of arrest for Mbeta followed.
In response, Mbeta went to the High Court in Zomba y where he filed an application to put aside the arrest, which judge Zione Ntaba granted, meaning ACB no longer had authority to implement the arrest warrant until judicial review of the matter is heard.
Judge Ntaba ordered that Malawi Law Society (MLS) as representative body under the Legal Education and Practitioners Act join as an interested party.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :