By: Lackson Kanyoza
The High Court in Blantyre will today resume the hearing of a corruption case where former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi is accused of misappropriating K1.7 billion.
Muluzi and his former personal assistant Lyness Whiskey are believed to have diverted donor money into their personal accounts.
Muluzi was initially charged with 80 counts for allegedly siphoning donor funds into his private account.
The case which was in court on Monday was adjourned after the court had sat, one of the three State lawyers, Deputy director of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Reyneck Matemba, notified the court that first witness (PW1), Victor Banda was not available due to ill-health.
Matemba told the court on Monday that Banda, had an appointment with a doctor at Embangweni Mission Hospital on Wednesday and will be available in court from Thursday.
“He reported that he would be seeing a doctor on Wednesday and therefore, we agreed that immediately after that he should be coming to Blantyre. That means Mr Banda will be in this court on Thursday. That’s where we need the court’s direction.
I pray that the court allows that we parade Mr Mlauzi, PW2, as we are waiting for Mr Banda. That is if it is permissible,” Matemba said.
However, Defence lawyers Jai Banda and Tamanda Chokhotho objected, saying the first witness was ready to testify.
But Judge Kamwambe went on to adjourn the case, saying matters of health could not be compromised and that the former Malawi leader is entitled to a fair trial just like any other person and adjourned the case to today.
The first witness will testify today, according to Kamwambe. Muluzi’s 1.7 billion case commenced in 2009.
Muluzi ruled from 1994 to 2004 as first democratically elected president of the Republic of Malawi.