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Gerald Chiunda, 3 others out on bail

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The Zomba Senior Resident Magistrate Court has granted bail to suspended Malawi National Examinations Board Executive Director Gerald Chiunda and three others.

The other three are the board’s head of security Owen Khuntho, chief examinations development officer and chief examinations security officer Ishmael Faki and Joseph Chilombe, respectively.

The four were arrested last Tuesday on allegations that they failed to safeguard last year’s Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations papers that were leaked.

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Last year’s MSCE leaked, a development that forced Education Minister Agnes NyaLonje to cancel the examinations.

Delivering the ruling on Tuesday, Senior Resident Magistrate Lisa Chingoli ordered Chiunda, Faki and Chilombe to pay a bail-bond of K100,000 (cash) while Khuntho has been ordered to pay a bail bond of K50,000 (cash).

The four have also been ordered to produce two sureties each at a bond of K200,000 (non-cash), which they fulfilled.

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Chingoli said the four must report to Eastern Region Police every Monday.

“The four must not leave the country without the consent of the Commissioner of Police for the Eastern Region. The four must also surrender all their travel documents to Eastern Region Police,” Chingoli said.

In an interview after court proceedings, lawyer for the four, Alfred Lungu, said his side was happy that his clients had been granted bail.

“As we already said, everyone has a right to bail. We are thankful that the honourable court has granted my clients bail. This is what we wanted,” Lungu said.

The exam leakage resulted in the loss of K4.5 billion from the government coffers.

Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to March 24 this year.

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