Defence takes on witness in K268 million fraud case


By Wezzie Gausi

Defence lawyers in the K268.7 million fraud case involving Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (Fisd) directors Monday argued that State witness Kondwani Msowoya was not fit to testify apparently because he was in a conflicting position.

The four directors, Moses Chirambo, Frank Mwenechanya, Kondwani Nanchukwa and Arthur Mpama, are suspected to have received double payment of K268.7 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a project in Ntcheu.


The State brought Msowoya, a project coordinator at the Ministry of Agriculture, to testify in the matter.

Msowoya told the court that he was involved in the arbitration process that happened between the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisd and AfDB.

He said it was noted that some of the projects that were given to Fisd did not come to completion despite the contractor being paid in full.


“During the arbitration process, it was noted that the intended purpose of the project, which was to provide safe water to the people of Ntcheu, was not achieved,” Msowoya told the court.

However, one of the defence lawyers, Wapona Kita, argued that the evidence given by Msowoya was irrelevant apparently because the witness was conflicted.

Kita said it was in court records that Msowoya had earlier sued Fisd and one of the directors in a civil case.

“The defence cannot trust what the witness is telling the court as he may have some grudges against Fisd and one of the accused persons.

“Apart from that, the witness is failing to tell the court about who authorised the double payment. And some documents were not furnished to the court regarding the money that was paid to Fisd,” Kita said.

Still, State lawyer Grace Wasiri told reporters outside the courtroom that the State was impressed with what the witness had told the court.

“As the State, we can say the matter went on well and our witness did what was required of him. What the defence is saying is their opinion but is it in the hands of the court to make a final determination,” Wasiri said.

Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Chimwaza has since adjourned the matter to today when the State is expected to re-examine Msowoya.

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