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Collins Magalasi’s K10.5 million case faces setback

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Steven Kayuni

The case in which former Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) chief executive officer Collins Magalasi is accused of abusing his office faced a setback Tuesday after it transpired that the magistrate handling the case has been transferred to the Industrial Relations Court.

Magalasi is being accused of abuse of office after he allegedly used public funds to pay K10.5 million as accommodation for Democratic Progressive Party officials at Kanjedza Lodge, Oasis Hotel and Heritage Serendib between July and August 2018.

Senior Resident Magistrate Shyreen Yona Chirwa was presiding over the case.

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Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni said the case would proceed when Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa assigns another magistrate.

“I would say it is a slight setback but we will wait for the court to grant us another judicial officer so that the matter proceeds.

“Today, we were ready to start parading witnesses. The witnesses were outside and we were ready to start today. These are financial-crime matters and matters that need to be processed in court very quickly for the fact that they thrive on sabotage to the economy,” Kayuni said.

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According to court documents, the money was released on the pretext that it would be used for sensitisation meetings.

On February 18 this year, Magalasi pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The State said it would parade seven witnesses in the matter.

Magalasi is also answering another case in which him, alongside business lady Dorothy Shonga Nkhoma, Mera spokesperson Patrick Maulidi and Procurement Officer Bright Mbewe are accused of fraud and money laundering for playing a part in the awarding of a K107 million procurement contract to Vink Enterprise, a company which Shonga owns.

The four recently denied the charges.

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