Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (Fisd) Limited lawyer, Gift Nankhuni, on Friday, March 5, asked the Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court to discharge a case involving four Fisd directors, arguing the State “is not serious and ready to prosecute the case”.
However, prosecutor Levi Mangani, asked the court to give the State 30 more days so it would “wind up” its investigations on the matter.
Senior Resident Magistrate Shyreen Chirwa has since accepted the State’s plea and adjourned hearing of the case to 6 April, 2021.
The four Fisd directors, namely; Moses Chirambo, Frank Mwenechanya, Kondwani Namchukwa and Aurther Mpama–were arrested in November last year on changes of conspiracy to defraud, forgery, uttering false documents, theft by public servant, obtaining money by false presence and money laundering.
Nankhuni complained that delays of commencement of hearing of the case due to the state’s elusiveness, is affecting the business of his clients.
Apparently, the Fisd directors case was first adjourned to 15 December, where, according to Nankhuni, the state never turned up.
“Even now the state has not obtained the date for hearing. Their charges were just holding charges. Otherwise, there are no real charges that the accused can face in this case. The state is not ready,” Nankhuni told journalists outside the court.
He added: “Honestly, we are worried that there is no progress in this case. However, we are hopeful that on 6 April, the state will be ready. If nothing will happen, we will then apply for a full discharge of the case because we want our clients to go back to their business”.
When she adjourned the case to 6 April, Senior Resident Magistrate Chirwa urged the State to speed up its investigations so that hearing would commence in earnest.
The arrest of the four Fisd directors came on the back of a protracted legal wrangle in the High Court of Malawi Commercial Division between Fisd Limited and government and the African Development Bank (AFDB) on the management of a water supply project contract Fisd was awarded in Ntcheu.
After their arrest, the Fisd directors were remanded to Maula prison for five days until their bails were granted on November 13, 2020.
Recently, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) executive director Gift Trapence hit at government institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the DPP and the police for arresting people on corruption and fraud grounds without committing themselves to conclude cases.
Previously, government proposed that the country should have special courts for trying corruption and fraud-related cases following a rise in number of suspects being arrested.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :