Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Violet Chipawo Wednesday granted bail to Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Collins Magalasi and his business partner, Dorothy Shonga Nkhoma, popularly known as, ‘Cash Madam’.
Magalasi, who was once former President Peter Mutharika’s Economic Advisor, two other officials, Patrick Maulidi and Bright Mbewe as well as Shonga-Nkhoma are being accused of fraud and money laundering.
The accused were arrested on July 27, 2020.
Chipawo said the state failed to satisfy the court as to why the accused should remain in custody.
She also said the state did not explain how the accused could jeopardise police investigations and interfere with evidence if released on bail.
“I, therefore, grant bail to the accused. I order each one to surrender all travel documents, report to the police every fortnight, they should not interfere with witnesses and should not leave Lilongwe without notifying the court,” Chipawo said.
She then ordered the four to pay K500, 000 cash as surety and produce two sureties to be bonded at K5 million each.
Magalasi, Shonga-Nkhoma and Maulidi are answering charges of fraud and money laundering whilst Mbewe is answering a charge of abuse of office based on the procurement of various items whose total value was K107 million from Vink Enterprises owned by Shonga Nkhoma.
The lawyer representing Mera officials, Powell Nkhutabasa, said. “We expect the state to serve us with disclosures and then we will commence the case. We will take it up from there,” he said.
Magalasi and others are expected to be back in court 16 September when they will take plea.