By Wezzie Gausi:
Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba has denied bail former Minister of Information Henry Mussa and former Director of Information Gideon Munthali.
The two were arrested in connection with the theft of 10 desktop computers and three generators at the ministry worth K11.5 million.
Mussa was arrested on Sunday while Munthali was nabbed on Friday.
Delivering his ruling Monday, Nyimba trashed the State’s application for 14 days to finalise their investigations but instead gave them seven days after which he will make the final decision regarding bail application.
“After hearing what the State has told the court, 14 days to finalise investigations is way too much as they have indicated that some of the stolen items have already been recovered. Seven days is enough for the State and by the end of that time, this court shall give its ruling on the bail application,” Nyimba said.
Defense Lawyer Powell Nkhutabasa said they have welcomed the decision by the court and hope that by the end of seven days, the State will have finalised its investigations.
He said with what the magistrate has said, the accused people will have to be remanded at Maula Prison.
“The magistrate has given us his ruling and as the defence we have to follow orders,” Nkhutabasa said.
State Prosecutor, Cecilia Zangazanga, said the two are answering charges of theft by public servant and abuse of office when they were both working at the Ministry of Information.
Zangazanga told the court that the crime was committed last year.
She said the equipment was a donation from Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) meant for District Information Offices.
“We understand the defence lawyers want the accused people to be granted bail. But as the State, we want the two to be remanded at Maula Prison. This request has been made for the police to conclude their investigations,” Zangazanga told the court.