Malawi anti-graft body summons lawyers Kita, Kara

The political persecution of outspoken critic of President Bingu wa Mutharika, lawyer Ralph Kasambara, has deepened as the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has now zeroed in on the matter by summoning lawyers Wapona Kita and Jonathan Kara in Kasambara’s law firm, Ralph and Arnolds .

The lawyers have been summoned to explain how they got bail for Kasambara when the Judiciary junior staff are on strike for higher pay.

The court clerks who have been striking for weeks suspended their strike to allow a bail hearing because lawyers have supported the clerks. Magistrate Innocent Nebi ordered Kasambara released.

Kita: Summoned

Kita confirmed to Nyasa Times that he has been served with a notice issued by the Director of ACB Alex Nampota.

The summon reads:”Whereas you are a legal practitioner for Ralph and Arnold Associates in the Republic of Malawi: Take notice that I require you to appear at the ACB in Blantyre on Monday the 20th of February, 2012 at 9:00 o’clock to answer questions concerning your role in the granting of bail on 14th February, 2012 for Mr Ralph Kasambara and others, to provide any information and to answer any other questions in connection with an inquiry or investigation which is being conducted by ACB.”

Kita said he will oblige and appear before the bureau.

“Well, I will avail myself to the Director,” Kita told Nyasa Times.

“I am not worried because all I did was my professional job and will continue to do so until this case is finished. My colleague Jonathan Kara has been summoned to appear tomorrow, so will see how it goes,” he added.

Orders

Meanwhile, Kara said prison warders have informed lawyers of Kasambara that they have been ordered by Police head of Criminal Investigations Department, Rex Chalera, not to release Kasamara without her authorisation.

“They have told me in my face that they have got orders from police, specifically from Chalera not to release Kasambara,” Kara said.

Kasambara was arrested on Monday; accused of kidnapping and torturing regime thugs sent to petrol bomb his law office.

He was granted bail on Tuesday and released on Wednesday but hours later, police arrested him again at his home, saying his bail procedure was flawed.

The lawyer’s arrest has been described as “politically motivated” coming  days after the oppress  quoted him criticizing President Bingu wa Mutharika and enlightening Malawians they have options such as asking the President “to resign or they should impeach him.”

And observers have  questioned the independence of  ACB , saying  they have rushed to this case  yet high profile corruption cases of  ministers Patricia Kaliati, Goodall Gondwe,  the Housing scam and Vuwa Kaunda  have taken years or no progress reported.

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