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Judiciary helpless on Cashgate pardon

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THE Judiciary says it is helpless on the decision by President Peter Mutharika to pardon a Cashgate convict, saying the decision cannot be questioned because he is backed by the Republican Constitution.

Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula was responding to a question on Tuesday on the feelings of the Judiciary following the surprise pardoning of Esnart Ndovi, few months before she was to complete her three year jail term.

“We are different arms of government. We meted down the sentence as Judiciary and the president made the pardon as the Head of the Executive and we all derived powers from the same Republican Constitution, therefore we cannot question the president’s decision,” Mvula said.

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The Judiciary comments come after some sections of the society expressed concern over Mutharika’s decision to pardon Ndovi, saying this would send bad signals to would-be offenders. Ndovi was among 378 prisoners Mutharika pardoned as part of celebrations marking the country’s 53 years of independence. Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said the decision was made based on Ndovi’s health.

Justin Dzonzi, executive director of Justice Link, a civil rights organisation, said in a separate interview Tuesday that it was important to look at the circumstances. “She was sentenced to three years jail term in 2015. She had already done twofifth of her term, therefore she was due to be released in six months’ time, that is insignificant,” said Dzonzi.

Ndovi was convicted in 2015, on her own plea of guilty, convicted of charges of lending a certificate for personation and money laundering, involving K12.9 million.

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