Anti-Corruption Bureau wants Bakili Muluzi charges combined
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has indicated that it plans to consolidate cases in the case where former president Bakili Muluzi is alleged to have swindled public funds amounting to K1.7 billion, The Daily Times has learned.
Earlier this week, immediately after a court hearing, Muluzi’s lawyer Tamando Chokhotho told The Daily Times that, with the passage of time, the State has indicated that it needs to review a number of things, among them amending the charge sheet.
The case has stagnated for over nine years due to numerous adjournments attributed to the former president’s illness and objections from the defence.
In a written response, ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala said the bureau plans to file a formal application to the court.
“The bureau is going to file a formal application for consolidation of the two cases before 29 May 2023. The bureau is expected to serve the amended charge sheet to the defence counsel before 29 May 2023.
“On 29 May 2023, the court will hear the ACB on the issue of consolidation of the two cases. The court will give directions on how the case will proceed,” Ndala said.
Earlier, Chokhotho indicated that they know about the issue.
“The State has indicated that, with the passage of time, they need to review the number of witnesses that are available. They indicated that they may be amending the charge sheet to reduce the number of charges and they have also indicated that they may apply to consolidate the two matters. We can only wait on our part, as the defence, to hear exactly what the amendments sought are because we have not had sight of them. Otherwise, the court will make its directions on May 29 2023,” he said.
Chokhotho said the court has since divided the matter into two divisions, adding that the case will be handled by the Financial Crimes Division.
“The court asked us to come on mention in both criminal case number one and number two of 2009, which are against Dr Bakili Muluzi [first accused] and the second one is Violet Wiskey. There is no co-accused,” he said.
Muluzi, who ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004 as the first democratically elected president, is accused of stealing $11 million donor money and was initially charged on 80 counts of allegedly siphoning cash meant for aid into his private account.