By Bernard Mhone:
Rapper Fredokiss real name Fred Penjani Kalua will have to wait longer before the court starts hearing his Presidential Election related case following another adjournment to unspecified date.
The hearing of the case failed to take place last Tuesday and was adjourned to yesterday due to Covid-19 pandemic measures put in place by the courts in Mzuzu.
Magistrates are currently working on shifts as one way of decongesting court premises to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
In an interview, Fredokiss lawyer, Leonard Mbulo said the court advised them to submit notice of adjournment for it to allocate specific dates for the hearing as the magistrate is engaged with other cases.
“Today, the case has also failed to go for hearing. Despite taking long before the hearing, we will follow whatever direction the court will give us and we will be waiting for new dates,” Mbulo said.
He added: “We also understand that all this is happening because of the situation we are in as regards Covid-19 pandemic. The hearing of our case is set for Monday’s according to the magistrates’ schedule as regards Covid-19 pandemic”.
Fredokiss with two others are accused of offering handouts during last presidential polls contrary to Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (PPEA).
Earlier in July, the three pleaded not guilty to the charge of influencing voters to choose a particular candidate in the Fresh Presidential Elections when they appeared before court when Mzuzu Chief Resident Magistrate, Gladys Gondwe, adjourned the case to July 28.
The state is expected to parade eight witnesses when the court reconvens.
Fredokiss was arrested on June 23 at Mulowe in Rumphi District by the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers who later handed him over to Rumphi Police.
The rapper was granted bail shortly after being formally charged with the offense of using fraudulent means to induce another person to vote for or against a particular candidate or party against Section 115 of PPEA and Section 1 of the Political Parties Act.
The two acts prohibit people from offering money to voters during an election.
The maximum penalty for contravening the section is a charge of K500 000 and a two year custodial sentence while the Political Parties Act attracts a fine of K10 million and a five year custodial sentence.
Fredokiss is a son to veteran politician and Member of Parliament for Rumphi East Constituency, Kamlepo Kalua and has been a brand ambassador for various organisations such as NBS Bank and Unicef.