The High Court sitting in Lilongwe Tuesday failed to start hearing the application for leave for judicial review in a case involving Lands Minister Kezzie Msukwa, who is alleged to have been involved in questionable land deals with Zuneth Sattar.
Defence lawyer Chimwemwe Kalua said, just when they were about to start hearing the case, they were alerted that a person by the name of Ashok Nair had joined the proceedings.
Kalua said, after the new person joined the case, they thought it wise that the court should adjourn the hearing so that they would be served with paperwork first before proceeding with the case.
“The court agreed to what we are saying, hence they have adjourned the matter to Friday, January 15 2022, to start hearing the judicial review. What we want is to look at the paperwork of Nair and see if the two cases are similar and can be handled together.
“As such, we were caught unawares today, with the new person joining the case,” Kalua said.
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director of Legal Affairs and Prosecutions Chrispin Khunga said they were ready to proceed with the Msukwa case.
He, however, said the court objected to what they proposed, as the defence wanted to be properly served with court documents for the new person who has joined the case.
“We were ready to start the judicial review case today but, with the new person joining, the court thought otherwise. The new person is seeking bail application as he has been in police custody and he is also looking for judicial review of the case,” Khunga said.
In a recent statement, ACB indicated that it had been investigating allegations that Sattar and his agent Ashok Kumar Sreedharan, also known as Ashok Nair, had been giving bribes to politically exposed persons to influence Malawi Government departments to award contracts to companies belonging to Sattar.
The statement further indicated that, in the course of the investigations, ACB established that Sattar had, through Nair, engaged in alleged corrupt practices in some land-related matters in Area 46, Lilongwe District and Chipoka in Salima District.