Malawi’s former president Bakili Muluzi has advised UDF gurus to go to the High Court in Blantyre and study the file for his criminal case the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is handling, saying the money they are demanding him to account for is being used by the bureau on one of the charges.
In a letter dated October 28, 2011 acting UDF president Friday Jumbe and Secretary General Kennedy Makwangwala, demanded that Muluzi repay K125 million ($748 502) the money it says donors gave the party in 2004 through his bank account.
But Muluzi, in a written response to the party through his lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale, said if the demand had not fallen short of the law, he was more than ready to account for the money.
According to Nation on Sunday, Kaphale said this should have been a civil matter if UDF wanted to take the matter to court but that since it is a 2004 issue and six years have passed since then, it is statute-barred under the Limitation Act.
Kaphale said the money was used during the 2004 election campaign and by May of the same year, there was no money in Muluzi’s personal account into which it had been deposited.
“We’ve even asked them to be State witnesses if they want. They can come and give evidence. We’ve told them that if they want to bother the former president, they should bother him on worthwhile issues, not this,” Kaphale said, according to the paper.
The lawyer said the money, which came from different donors, was deposited into Muluzi’s account for various reasons, including safety.
Jumbe said the party would engage a lawyer to respond to Muluzi’s assertions, but ruled out court action.
UDF heavyweights are accused of “blackmailing” Muluzi since his son Atupele declared his interest to run for presidency. The party suspended him.
Makwangwala denied that they are blackmailing Muluzi.