Former MERA CEO wants Magistrate to recuse herself in fraud case

Magalasi

Former Malawi Regulatory Authority (Mera) Chief Executive Officer, Collins Magalasi has applied to have the Senior Resident Magistrate (SRM) who is handling his case recuse herself on grounds of bias.

The court is expected to make it rulig at 3pm this afternoon.

Magalasi appeared in court before the SRM Shyreen Chirwa in Lilongwe to answer two counts of abuse of office and fraud.

Bone of contention 

Lawyer for Magalasi, Andrew Kaonga prayed court allow him to attend to COVID-19 as his son has been found positive.

Being a close contact it is a health recommendation to have himself and immediate family tested and start isolating.

Kaonga's request for adjournment was denied by Chirwa saying reason was not satisfactory to the court prompting him to file for recusal.

The lawyer told the court access to fair trial is unlikely arguing Chirwa is bent on proceedings despite the prevailing health grounds in question.

Director of Public Prosection lead in the case Steven Kayuni brushed off the health grounds saying it was just a ploy by the defence to buy time.

Kaonga questioned why Chirwa was ruling in favour of State.

Background to the Magalasi case

Magalasi and former president Mutharika
Magalasi shares light moment with former presidnet and DPP president Peter Mutharika

Magalasi is accused of abusing the authority of his office financing ousted Democratic Progressive Party.

He is allegedly to have authorised payment of K10.5 million as accommodation for former ruling DPP officials at Kanjedza Lodge, Oasis Hotel and Heritage Serendib between July and August 2018.