Supreme Court finally withdraws Chizuma interdiction case

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Blantyre has finally withdrawn director of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) interdiction case, clearing the graft busting body’s Czar of any criminal proceedings against her.

This follows the state’s withdrawal on Monday of “an urgent application” it made before the High Court in Blantyre to restore interdiction of Chizuma.

Chancy Gondwe, one of the private-practice lawyers appointed by the Attorney General said the State initially went for an adjournment, but Justice John Katsala declined on grounds that the interdiction of Chizuma being the basis of the matter was lifted.

Lawyer Chancy Gondwe

The court said that the issue was stale and there was no need to continue wasting court’s resources on that.

The government side later applied for withdrawal of the matter and lawyers representing Malawi Law Society (MLS), Patrick Mpaka and Chrispin Ngunde, did not object.

The court proceeded and withdrew the case.

After the withdrawal, MLS asked the court to award them costs of the case but Gondwe objected to that arguing that lawyers on both sides, MLS and government, were acting pro bono (for free).

The court agreed with Gondwe, and declined to make any order on costs.

Mpaka said what the withdrawal meant is that there is no case in the Supreme Court where the State wanted to appeal after its application for the “urgent application” was rejected by High Court judge Mike Tembo.

Newly appointed Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Masauko Chamkakala announced on Saturday that his office had made a decision to withdraw criminal defamation charges against Chizuma which were laid before Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court over a leaked audio in which the ACB director general was discussing an on-going graft investigation with a third party.

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