Mpinganjira bribery case committed to High Court

Thom Mpinganjira

The Magistrates court in Blantyre has accepted an application by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to commit the bribery case involving business mogul, Thom Mpinganjira to the High Court.

Mpinganjira was arrested in January this year on allegations that he attempted to bribe a panel of five judges handling the election case with cash amounting to K100 million.

Chief Resident Magistrate Simeone Mdeza handled the application from ACB before granting them their wish.

ACB director, Reyneck Matemba in an interview said they are ready with the evidence for the trial to begin.

“We applied before the CRM court to transfer the case and the court has accepted, so the procedures that follow thereafter after have to be complied with. On the part of the court, they have to prepare a record of proceedings. On our part we have to prepare disclosures then we will be waiting for the court to give us the date of hearing.

“The time we arrested Dr Mpinganjira, we had already finished our investigations. As I have said before, when the bureau moves in to arrest it means we are confident that the evidence that we have is enough to prove our case. So, we finished our investigations the time we arrested him, so once the high court gives us the date for trial, we will be able to move with the case,” he said.

Defense lawyer, Patrice Nkhono said they have no problem with the Magistrate’s ruling.

“It is a power which is granted under the criminal procedure and evidence code to commit cases to the High court. So this has been done and what will happen now is that the court of the magistrate will prepare the record and submit it to the registrar of the high court where the arrangement will be made for the case to be allocated to a judge and for arrangement to be made with regard to the dates when the trial shall begin in the high court before the judge.

“We haven’t received the disclosures yet from the Anti-Corruption Bureau but we expect we will be receiving those in a little while, then once we get those, we can begin to make preparations for the trial in earnest and ready for the trial,” he said.

President Lazarus Chakwera and his deputy Saulos Chilima protested the results of the May 21 presidential election.

The Constitutional Court nullified the polls before Peter Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) appealed to the Supreme Court.

The highest court on the land upheld the ruling and the fresh election was conducted last week Tuesday which saw Chakwera being elected president.