Malawi judges never received any cash bribe, Mpinganjira to file ‘no case to answer’ submissions

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has finished its prosecution case  in a matter which business mogul Thom Mpinganjira is accused of allegedly attempting to bribe five High Court judges sitting as the Constitutional Court in the May 21, 2019 presidential election nullification petition case  and with no evidence tendered of bribes exchanging hands, the defence has indicated it will make a submission that there is no ‘prima facie’ case, that is, that there is no case ‘on the face of it’.

Lawyer Nkhono for Mpinganjira: No prima facie case

Judge Dorothy DeGabrielle has given ACB and lawyers representing Mpinganjira five days to make their submissions after prosecution paraded all  its witnesses that included the five judges  who were on the panel as the Constitutional Court

and Dan Mponda, the bureau’s director of investigations.

In all their testimonies, all the judges  including Justice Healy Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu and Ivy Kamanga, they are told the court they did not receive any money  as a bribe from Mpinganjira.

None of the judges also testified that they saw a parcel with cash, but the issue of a parcel was  heard and that of cash bribe being given was largely hearsay. Some testimony was tenuous and inconsistent in nature.

On Friday as last prosecution witness, Kamanga—now Justice of Appeal—told the court the judges learnt about Mpinganjira’s alleged attempts to bribe them following an understanding they reached that any judge must share any conversation or issue he or she encounters in relation to the case.

“So, on October 10, 2019 during lunch hour, Justice [Healy] Potani, who was the in-charge of our panel, told us he had shocking news to tell us.

“That is when he broke the news that he had received a phone call from Mr Mpinganjira asking if he had received a parcel to pass on to us judges who were hearing the elections case,” explained Kamanga.

Kamanga further claimed in the talk Mpinganjira discussed all the judges hearing the case and only excluded her because “he was not sure if she was going to be persuaded.”

When one of Mpinganjira’s lawyers Fostino Maele asked Kamanga why it took three months before reporting the matter to ACB, Judge Kamanga stated: “We were aware of the need to immediately report the issue to ACB, but we were handling a matter of national interest and we agreed not to do so because of the atmosphere then.

On his testimony, Mponda  was conspicuously s shaking when he was asked to explicitly point out where Mpinganjira said ‘here is money’  for he judges to influence their judgement in favour of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its leader Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).

He said in matters of bribery people do not come out to explicitly say they are trying to bribe someone.

Mponda disclosed that in their findings they did not find the said parcel nor did they substantiate that Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal judge Lovemore Chikopa

was getting money to give to  Potani and ACB cleared him of any wrongdoing.

ACB investigate Chikopa after he was linked to a case where Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda lodged a complaint to the ACB that two judges—Potani and Tembo—had reported alleged attempts by Mpinganjira to influence their judgement in favour of one of the parties in the case.

Chikopa was on the seven-judge Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal panel that on Friday upheld the Constitutional Court judgement of February 3 that nullified the presidential election results and ordered a fresh election set for July 2.

The judges were recently named winners of a prestigious international award for overturning presidential elections for rigging.

The London-based think-tank Chatham House lauded the judges for bravery and independence after they cancelled the re-election of then incumbent Peter Mutharika in a historic decision for elections in Africa.

They ordered new elections, which were held on June 23 and won by opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera who teamed up with Saulos Chilima as vice president.

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Ndafera Nkhande
Ndafera Nkhande
7 months ago

Leave Mpinganjira alone.We know there are some DPP officials who wanted to use this innocent man for their own gains.Mpinganjira has done excellent work as chief of FDH bank which employs a lot of Malawian from all districts.

Zamkutu
Zamkutu
8 months ago

Did Mpinganjira’s lawyers get their law degrees via correspondence courses?

aloga
aloga
8 months ago

Good luck getting the case dismissed. The insinuation here is that the 5 High Court judges, who have over 100 years of combined experience on the bench between them, apparently colluded to bring down Mpinganjira of all people for some unknown reason other than attempted bribery. Trying to convince their peer is a tall order. The Man will go to prison but the cash he has stolen with the DPP will never get recovered. A small price to pay so his family can live the good life for generations.

Last edited 8 months ago by aloga
Mdala
Mdala
8 months ago

This case opens us the eyes, that we can’t trust political Leaders, Bankers and the highest Judges in the country! This sad status quo of our Nation after 56 years of independence needs more then only Mindset change!

Sikusinja
Sikusinja
8 months ago

He is being charged with attempt to do how can there be no case to answer because money did not change hands. If he had been charged with bribing charges then he has no case to answer.

Kwitanda
Kwitanda
8 months ago

Can one bend the law on his own saying he is doing that in public interest?. The judges failed to report corruption as per the requirement. And some judges were just coerced to be complaints when they are in fact not party the case. De Gabrielle has a wonderful job.

Zio ine
Zio ine
8 months ago
Reply to  Kwitanda

Slornf using a proxy. The delay was cease thy were consulting their principals Chilima and Chakwra

President Chisokonezo
8 months ago

They must pay both Mpinganjira and DPP. Adadi woye

Beyani
Beyani
8 months ago

Kadeti komatu👀🤣🤣🤣

Dziwelankhalamba
Dziwelankhalamba
8 months ago

Where money is involved, the wheels of justice never turn in favour of the truth. Apa Thom mpinganjira will be released and if he is greedy will sue for wrongful arrest and hence need compensation. Acb is pathetic and shameful

Fwanglubiro
Fwanglubiro
8 months ago

‘Cash did not exchange hands’ ask Uladi Mussa that was his defence. Lawyers for Mpinganjira find another defence

Nicholas
8 months ago
Reply to  Fwanglubiro

Awuzeni sakudziwa. Ndipo akhumudwa.

Black berry
Black berry
8 months ago

Do not forget that he asked for a at some point he was willing accept guilt by asking for a plea bargain

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