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Collins Magalasi’s K10.5 million court case adjourned

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Steven Kayuni

The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court on Tuesday adjourned the case in which former Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) chief executive officer Collins Magalasi is accused of abusing office when 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.

The State was expected to start parading witnesses against Magalasi Tuesday but it was observed that Magalasi’s lawyer had another commitment at the High Court.

Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni told reporters outside the court that the State was ready with its witnesses.

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“We were ready to parade our witnesses today. We had a number of witnesses set for today. The court was set but there were issues that came up. Counsel for defence had matters in the High Court that he needed to attend to.

“There were also a few issues that came up that required us to see the [presiding] court [officials] in chambers. Those are related to the other matter. Remember that there are two cases, one in this court and the other in the Chief Resident Magistrate Court. So, there was a request that those matters be ironed out and that, on March 23 and 24, that’s when the matter proceeds,” Kayuni said.

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

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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 he, alongside business lady Dorothy Shonga Nkhoma, Mera spokesperson Patrick Maulidi and Procurement Officer Bright Mbewe are accused of fraud and money laundering for allegedly playing a part in the awarding of a K107 million procurement contract to Vink Enterprise, a company Shonga Nkhoma owns.

The four recently denied the charges.

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