Malawi Congress Party (MCP) parliamentary candidate for Blantyre City Centre, Kondi Msungama and UTM Party parliamentary candidate for Blantyre Bangwe, George Saonda,appear at Lunzu Magistrate’s Court in Blantyre this Friday as the trial of theft charges against them starts.
Msungama is answering charges of impersonating an Immigration officer with alleged intent to swindle a Blantyre-based Burundian businessperson, Emmanuel Gatera Alphonse, of K6 350 000. and Saonda is named as the one who introduced Msungama to the Burundian and his family, the court records state.
Both accused persons, aspiring for elected public office as legislators, and a third accused person Daniel Masina Chikhaula of Njonja Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kachere in Dedza, denied the charges, which are theft by false pretence and impersonating a public officer.
Southern Region Police prosecutions officer Dickens Mwambazi confirmed to Nyasa Times that the case is coming for hearing and three State witnesses are expected to testify against the accused persons.
The State is alleging that the three swindled a Burundian businessman of over K6 million which was allegedly part of an agreement Msungama—a businessperson-cum-politician—would facilitate processing of citizenships for Alphonse and eight members of his family.
The trio—Msungama, Saonda and Chikhaula— are on bail and deny any wrong doing.
Msungama recently accused the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at one of his rallies in Ndirande of using police to fight him politically.
He challenged the DPP that they should fight on the ground, politically.
At the time the alleged offences were committed, Saonda served as director of events in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), before he fell out of grace with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and joined UTM.
The court record shows that Msungama was at one point introduced to the complainant by Saonda at Immigration Headquarters in Blantyre, as an intelligence officer working undercover at the department.
The accused persons were arrested by Chileka Police last October.
The matter has finally gone to court after failed out-of-court settlement despite commitments made by the accused persons, through their lawyers, to refund the money fortnighly by instalments of K1 million.