By Audrey Kapalamula:
The Chief Resident Magistrate Court in Lilongwe has committed to the High Court the K2.7 billion Malawi Police Service (MPS) food rations case with amended charges against the accused persons.
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Commissioner of Police Innocent Bottomani, Zameer Karim of Pioneer Investments and Grant Kachingwe in relation to the case.
The new charge sheet that ACB presented to Chief Resident Magistrate Violet Chipao shows four counts against the accused.
The charges include conspiracy in line with section 35 read with Section 25B of the Corrupt Practices Act, influencing the use of Public Office for advantage in line with Section 25B (2) of the corrupt practices Act, use of public office for advantage contrary to section 25B (1) of the corrupt practices Act and money-laundering in line with section 42(1) (c) of the Financial Crimes Act.
“Bottomani, Kachingwe and Karim conspired together to use public office for the advantage of Karim, trading as Pioneer Investments, to arbitrarily obtain K2, 793,087,500.00, the property of the government,” the charge sheet reads.Advertisement
“Zameer Karim influenced Kachikuwo, G.I Bottoman, Loti Dzonzi, LND Kamphika, Duncan Saunders Mwapasa, commissioners, Inspector General, Officer, a Deputy Inspector General, respectively, in the Malawi Police Service and [the then] Commissioner General of the Malawi Revenue Authority, John Bizwick, to use their public office arbitrary for the advantage of Pioneer Investments to obtain the K2.7 billion,” it adds.
It further says Bottomani and Kachingwe, being public officers, used their public office arbitrary for the advantage of Pioneer investments to obtain the money and that Karim, Bottomani and Kachingwe at CDH Investment Bank, possessed K2.7 million.
ACB Principal Legal and Prosecutions Officer, Imran Saidi, said the State has re-arranged the charges in a way they would want them appear moving forward.
“The charges are not very much different from the first ones but, in the framing of the charges, there are one or two things that we would probably want to put, in addition [to the others]. What we have done is re-arranging and putting a different language in a way the State has felt that they should seem to be.” he said
Meanwhile, Chipao has committed the case to the High Court, which will determine the way forward of the matter.
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