The High Court in Blantyre has again adjourned to March next year a case case that has stagnated for about 12 years in which former president Bakili Muluzi was charged over K1.7 billion which was donated through him for his United Democratic Front (UDF) campaign for his handpicked successor Bingu wa Mutharika in 2014 deposited in his personal account.
The State claimed the money was public funds despite that donations were made directly to him for party purposes and not from donor nations to a government.
The Constitutional Court in Blantyre ruled that Muluzi needs to appear before court to account for his wealth.
Lilongwe-based High Court judge Chifundo Kachale, sitting in Blantyre, deferred the case to next year after a sitting of less than an hour after lawyers from both parties had earlier met the judge in the chambers before coming into the open court
When the matter came for trial but it was evident that both parties were not ready to proceed when the State, represented by two Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) lawyers—Victor Chiwala and Clement Mwala—sought an early adjournment.
In the court, the State said in its plea that the matter had stayed long without coming to court as such it needed ample time to retrace and interview its witnesses before coming for mention.
The defence team comprising private practice lawyers Tamando Chokhotho and Jai Banda did not object to the request, which they described as “reasonable”.
Judge Kachale then adjourned the case to March 8 2019.
Muluzi, 74, who ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004 as first democratically elected president is being jointly charged with his former personal secretary Lines Whiskey.
The former president denies any wrong doing together with his co-accuser.