The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal sitting in Blantyre Tuesday rebuffed the country’s former president Bakili Muluzi and dismissed his application to discontinue a corruption case in which is he being accused of swindling public funds amounting to the K1.7 billion into his personal account during his presidential tenure.
The funds, which Muluzi is accused of being suspected to have embezzled, a grant from the Libyan Government, were meant for the construction of a district hospital in Malawi’s commercial city of Blantyre.
The case is currently being heard in the High Court.
In the case, which has dragged for a long time, Muluzi and his secretary Lyness Whiskey are accused of allegedly diverting public funds into the former president personal account for personal gains.
However, Lawyers representing the former head of State, Bakili Muluzi, Jai Banda and Tamando Chokhotho had appealed to the highest court of the land, The Supreme Court to move the court to dismiss the case on the legality of the case citing inconsistencies in the Corrupt Practices Act and the Constitution of Malawi.
Delivering the judgement, Chief Justice Rezine Mzikamanda who led a three-judge panel, comprising of Justice Lovemore Chikopa and Justice Frank Kapanda, dismissed the case in its entirety thereby upholding an earlier ruling by the High Court sitting as a Constitution Court in 2018.
Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda in an interview with Nyasa Times welcomed the ruling saying the State was ready to prosecute the case.
Said Chakaka Nyirenda: “As government, who in this case are representing the people of Malawi’s interests, we are happy with this ruling because this will set a precedent to other corruption cases involving unexplained wealth accumulated by public officers.”
According to Chakaka Nyirenda, today’s decision by the supreme court paves way for one of the long awaited trials to commence.
Muluzi was the second President of Malawi having been elected in 1994 going to serve two terms up to 2004 under the United Democratic Front. Before becoming president, he served Malawi’s former president, Hastings Kamuzu Banda in his cabinet but he also served the one-party ruling Malawi Congress Party as its Secretary General.