By Wezzie Gausi:
The State Thursday paraded the first two witnesses in the case involving Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) former chief executive officer Collins Magalasi, Patrick Maulidi, Bright Mbewe and Dorothy Shonga.
Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa is presiding over the case.
The four are answering 16 counts of misprocurement, abuse of office, money laundering, fraudulent accounting for the purchase of Mera cloth and image-building where companies belonging to Shonga and Magalasi were allegedly supplying goods to the regulator.
The whole transaction involves K153 million.
The first witness to testify was Limbikani Banda, who works for law firm Knights and Knights.
Banda said he recognised Dorothy Shonga among the four accused that were present in court.
He said Shonga went to his office to prepare documents for her company.
Banda said the office prepared the documents, which were given back to Shonga without signatures.
The witness denied that the company had a person by the name of P. Maulidi as it appeared on the signed documents which Shonga had.
“I can confirm that Shonga visited our office seeking help [as she wanted us] to prepare her company’s documents. We, as an office, did the preparation but we did not know where she took the documents for signing and other processes,” Banda said.
The other witness Dilson Bonongwe, who works as a banker at CDH Bank, said he recognised Dorothy Shonga and Collins Magalasi among the four accused that were present at the court.
He said he knew the two because they have current accounts with the banking institution.
The witness said the other account belongs to DC Brands Company, where the signatories are Shonga and Magalasi.
He said Shonga had another account where the signatories were Shonga and Paul Viecca, a Turkey national.
“I came to know the two when they were processing their bank accounts with CDH in 2019. The two opened the account on April 29 2019,” Bonongwe said.
Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni said the case was progressing well.
He said the State was remaining with four witnesses to testify.
“Today, two witnesses came to the court to testify. The first witness was cross-examined but the second witness is yet to be cross-examined because some of the documents needed for the case to proceed were not available. So, the matter has been adjourned,” Kayuni said.
Defence Lawyers were not ready to comment on the proceedings.
Chirwa has adjourned the case to November 30, when the State will continue parading witnesses.