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4 testify in interdicted energy director’s case

SOKO—We are waiting for star witnesses

Four witnesses have testified against interdicted director in the Ministry of Energy, Cassius Chiwambo.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Chiwambo in December last year on allegations that he abused his office by influencing the evaluation team to favour a total of seven companies that bid in the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (Marep) Phase 9 procurement.

Yesterday, the state paraded four witnesses, two of whom were Velia Mkomwa, a messenger in the Ministry of Energy and Nelson Selema, energy officer in the ministry.

In the course of hearing, the matter was adjourned a number of times as the defence requested for WhatsApp conversations which the witnesses claimed were shared with the accused.

Speaking after the court adjourned the case, lawyer representing Chiwambo, Khumbo Soko, said these initial testimonies were not consequential.

“We are waiting for the star witnesses who are yet to testify,” Soko said.

On his part, lawyer representing the ACB Anafi Nkwanya said he was satisfied with the four witnesses.

“We are satisfied with the four witnesses and we are remaining with six witnesses,” Nkwanya said.

In her adjournment formalities, Magistrate Madalitso Khoswe Chimwaza bemoaned the state’s unpreparedness.

Hearing of the matter is expected to resume next month where the defence will continue with cross examination.

Chiwambo’s arrest followed an allegation that the Ministry of Energy deliberately sidelined the Internal Procurement and Disposal Committee in procuring power line construction materials for Marep.

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