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DPP responds to caseload concerns

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Gift Trapence

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale has distanced her office from delays in investigating alleged high-profile corruption cases in recent months.

Kachale said the Malawi Police Service and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) have autonomous responsibilities to investigate criminal offences in the country.

She was responding to a letter from the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) on the status of some of the high-profile arrests the country has seen since July this year.

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Kachale said her office only comes in at prosecution stage where she is supposed to review the evidence gathered.

“In that vein, I wish to inform you that as far as I am aware, all the cases you have mentioned are at investigative stage. As such this office does not have the competence to comment on their progress as requested.

“I hereby refer you to the Inspector General of Police for the purposes of obtaining appropriate feedback on the matters you have raised,” reads the letter.

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Among others, HRDC queried the DPP on the status of cases involving former president Peter Mutharika’s security aide Norman Chisale, Mera Chief Execiutive Officer Collins Magalasi, former Director of State Residences Peter Mukhito, former Malawi Revenue Authority Deputy Director Roza Mbilizi and Lilongwe Water Board Chief Executive Officer Godfrey Itaye.

“HRDC is concerned with the current state of affairs. The questions we ask are whether the arrests were without merit; whether some suspects are being shielded by the so called “system”; and whether our law enforcement agencies have requisite expertise to professionally prosecute such high-profile cases,” reads the letter by HRDC dated October 8.

National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said investigations are in progress for the cases HRDC cited.

“We have been flat out conducting investigations on many high-profile cases involving murder, abuse of office, theft and others. We have been open to the public through the media and when we complete investigations on any of these cases we will inform them.

“If indeed the HRDC copied us the letter to the DPP you are talking about, we will also respond to them through the right channel,” he said.

But HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence said he was not satisfied with the responses from the DPP, saying he will convene a meeting with all the other concerned entities.

“There are other long-standing issues like the Malawi Police Service food ration deal involving Zameer Karim and several others which need to brought to their logical conclusion as soon as possible,” he said.

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