Uladi Mussa, a former president Peter Mutharika’s adviser, has said he is a victim of “miscarriage of justice” for his conviction alongside a former senior immigration officer and said he will file an appeal.
He was sentenced by High Court in Lilongwe to six years in prison after he was found guilty of corruption linked to illegal issuing of passports.
But speaking to a battery of newspersons after his conviction, Mussa maintained his innocence, saying his conviction is as a result of “miscarriage of justice”, saying he is going to appeal to the Supreme Court against his conviction and sentence.
He said “In a corruption case, there is evidence of money exchanging hands.
“In this case there is no single Tambala (I benefitted) from 2017 up to now, so go and ask them for me, katangale amangidwira a Uladi-yu, ngwa utaka kapena wa usipa [the corruption case I have been convicted for is it involving utaka or usipa [type of fish].”
Defence lawyer Paul Maulidi confirmed that they will proceed to lodge an appeal.
“The judge contradicted himself, we have noted a lot of material errors in law,” he said.
Dr Chifundo Kachale, the High Court judge who is also the chairman of the Malawi Electoral Commission, said Mussa, 55, abused his public office, neglected duty and uttered false documents.
“I order a sentence of five years imprisonment for being found guilty of abuse of public office and 12-month imprisonment for neglect of official duties. The sentences will run concurrently,” said the judge.
Kamudoni Nyasulu, a private prosecutor engaged by Anti-Corruption Bureau, said the conviction and sentence has set a legal precedent.
“The law requires that a public officer’s actions must not be arbitrary, but must follow the law and procedures,” Nyasulu told reporters outside the court.
In July 2019, the US State Department banned Mussa and his spouse from visiting the country for his involvement in the passport scam.
In a statement, the US said it had acted “following credible information” that Mussa was involved in significant corruption while serving as a Cabinet minister.
Mussa was arrested in March 2017 and his trial has lasted three years.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :