One case down for Mzomera Ngwira, jailed 4 years

Christopher Mzomera Ngwira

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the Northern Region, Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira has been sentenced to four years imprisonment with hard labour for abuse of office in the use of K250,000 Local Development Funds (LDF).

Mzomera was Member of Parliament for Mzimba Hora at the time. His wife Martha Chiuluntha Ngwira is the current legislator having won the May 21, 2019 polls.

According to facts presented in court by the State, the abused funds were meant for construction of a teacher’s house at Lukwelukwe in the Constituency.

He is being remanded at Mzimba Prison.

Ngwira was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in 2018 over diverting funds from the Local Development Fund (LDF) when he was serving as Member of Parliament for Mzimba Hora Constituency.

The arrest came after ACB carried out investigations following an allegation it received in September 2010 over how LDF funds were used when he was MP for Mzimba Hora Constituency.

ACB had received an initial complaint to do with invoices Ngwira presented of Yogi and Mzimba Hardware, purporting to have supplied building materials for Lukwelukwe School project, which was funded by LDF under M’mbelwa District Council.

Investigations by the bureau established that Ngwira had advised the Project Management Committee to sign a blank withdrawal slip and told them not to indicate the total amount to be withdrawn and thereafter, filled the blank withdraw slip with an amount of K650,000.

According to ACB, the figure was reduced to K250, 000 in court after it transpired that Ngwira refunded K400,000.

Mzomera Ngirwa was convicted on September 28 having been found guilty of abuse of office.

In mitigation, he pleaded for leniency saying he is a family man and runs a church.

But passing judgement on Friday, Mzimba senior resident magistrate Matthews Msiska said the sentence is meant to deter would-be offenders, especially public officers.

Mzomera Ngwira is also answering another charge of inciting violence during president Lazarus Chakwera’s rally at Chibavi ground in Mzuzu in 2016.

The case is at Mzuzu court where he is answering the charges alongside two others, including another DPP official, Joe Nyirongo.

Some DPP officials including Leader of Opposition and president of the party in the Southern Region, Kondwani Nankhumwa, Jappie Mhango, Simon Vuwa Kaunda were spotted at the Court premises.

Three months ago, former legislator for Zomba Malosa Anderson Undani was also jailed for corruption involving Constituency Development Fund (CDF).