A magistrate court in Zomba has granted bail to a prominent Malawi banker Thom Mpinganjira, who has been accused of a suspected attempt to bribe a panel of five judges presiding over the country’s presidential election petition case
Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Mpinganjira on Wednesday after the bureau received a complaint on December 8 2019 from Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda alleging that some people were attempting to bribe the five judges of the Constitutional Court.
Mpinganjira spent the afternoon at the ACB offices in Blantyre but was being released from the police station at midnight after the court bail.
The court also quashed a warrant of arrest by ACB on Mpinganjira as irregular.
Hundreds of people gathered at ACB offices and chanted “Thief! Thief!” as he was being whisked away by tight security to a police station.
But at police station, scores of his sympathisers gathered to hold a vigil claiming his arrest was work of opposition smear campaign.
Mpinganjira, an accountant, is the former founding chief executive of the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE). He left to open private First Discount House (FDH) which later evolved into a bank and has a nationwide branch network.
He is also a board chairman of state-run power utility Escom.
Many people in Malawi have said he is connected to the ruling party, but he has always denied links.