Malawi government plans to drop former president Bakili Muluzi corruption case where he (Muluzi) is accused of misappropriating K1.7 billion—about $11m (£7m) of funds from international donors.
According to Malawi News of March 7, 2015, citing “reliable sources within the top echelons of government,” there have been moves to drop the case for some months – apparently due to lack of evidence.
The case protracted since 2011 due to among other reasons, the former president’s health concerns is still ongoing at the High Court.
The former president was charged with corruption and abuse of office for allegedly diverting donor funds into his personal accounts.
Muluzi, Malawi’s first democratic president was initially charged with 86 counts of corruption and abuse of office. They were trimmed to three.
He denies any wrong doing.
Government already had given Muluzi back over 60 vehicles which the country’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) seized from him in 2009.
According to ACB deputy director Reyneck Matemba, the vehicles were really “deteriorating” hence an out-of-court agreement between anti-graft body and Muluzi lawyers led to the release of the vehicles earlier this year.
The agreement was subsequently validated by court consent, Matemba disclosed.
According to Matemba, the decision to release the vehicle was made long before the bureau and the country changed leadership.
Matemba however insisted ACB it is proceeding with the case on April 9 “for a marathon two weeks.”
He said the case “can only be discontinued for valid legal reasons in line with criminal procedure and Evidence code and we are supposed to account for that through the Director of Public Prosecutions to Parliament through the Legal Affairs Committee.”
Muluzi’s lawyer Jai Banda said the defence team is are not aware of the case being dropped and that they still preparing for the case .
But Muluzi’s bank accounts remain frozen since 2009 and he has no access to the money since then.
Muluzi, who ruled the southern African nation for 10 years, stepped down in 2004 after unsuccessfully trying to change the constitution to allow him to stand again.
He hand-picked Bingu wa Mutharika to run for president on the UDF ticket. But eight months after his victory, the late Mutharika resigned from the UDF over what he says was hostility to his anti-corruption campaign and formed DPP which the incumbent, Peter Mutharika, his younger brother is heading.
UDF which is led by Muluzi’s son Atupele, currently serving as cabinet minister in Peter Mutharika adminstration and DPP are now in a governing alliance.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :