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Court finds Collins Magalasi with case

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High Court Judge Patrick Chirwa, sitting as Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate, has found former Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) chief executive officer Collins Magalasi and businesswoman Dorothy Shonga and two others with a case to answer on fraud and money laundering charges.

The suspects are answering fraud and money laundering charges in relation to procurement at the authority.

“The court is satisfied that the State has made a case against the accused. Therefore, it is now up to them to give their side of the story,” Chirwa said.

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Shonga and Magalasi, together with former Mera public relations officer Patrick Maulidi and procurement officer Bright Mbewe, were arrested in 2020 on accusations that they influenced the Mera Internal Procurement and Disposal Committee to award a contract worth K186 million to Vink Enterprise, which is owned by Shonga.

Speaking after the court adjourned the case, lawyer for Magalasi and others, Andy Kaonga, said he did not expect the case to go in that direction.

“I am shocked with the ruling.

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“However, we will defend the matter at all cost,” Kaonga said

On his part, Mathews Chione from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) said he was happy with the ruling.

“We are ready to prosecute the matter further,” Chione said.

Over 10 witnesses testified in the case.

The court has also found Magalasi and Mbewe with an abuse of office case to answer for allegedly procuring a K704 million fuel testing van.

Mera advertised for the procurement of the van on April 3 2019, resulting in the authority entering into a contract with City Motors for the supply of the said laboratory van.

On May 7 2019, Mera is accused of paying City Motors K563,200,000.00, which translated to 80 percent, as advance payment.

Almost a year later, on April 17 2020, Mera allegedly paid K140.8 million to City Motors, translating to 20 percent of the contract sum.

The mobile laboratory van was delivered to Mera in April 2020, a year after the contract was agreed.

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