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Lloyd Muhara, Leston Mulli out on bail

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Leston Mulli

Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Chimwaza Wednesday granted bail to former Chief Secretary to the government Lloyd Muhara and Managing Director of Mulli Brothers Limited (MBL) Leston Mulli after spending a night in custody on Tuesday.

Police arrested the two for allegedly abusing office and conspiracy to defraud the government through how they signed a loan settlement deal that Mulli obtained from Malawi Savings Bank (MSB).

Particulars of the offence indicate that Mulli, 47, and Muhara, 64, conspired to defraud the MSB in 2019 in Lilongwe through fraudulent means by signing a purported consent order for the MSB debt collection company to collect K5 billion.

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The company was set up by the government to collect debts due from various debtors to the defunct bank.

Muhara is also being accused of abusing office by arbitrarily signing a Consent Order dated March 8 2019 purporting himself to be a shareholder in the said debt collection company when he was not.

“…And purporting to allow Mulli brothers Ltd to be paying K5 million per month to MSB debt company towards the payment of a loan of K5 billion which the said Mulli brothers Ltd owed MSB Debt Collection Company,” reads the charge sheet.

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State prosecutor Levison Mangani said the state would bring a substantive charge sheet later as well as the expected number of witnesses.

One of the defence lawyers John Kalampa said the matter before the court relates to issues of contract and that there is no business of criminal procedure or the criminal law.

“There are several ways you can call them to come to court. The other way was simply summoning them before the court. They are already on bail and they haven’t absconded or invaded the criminal procedure,” he said.

But Mangani said no law prevents them from arresting anyone even when they are answering other charges.

Chimwaza has since directed that the state should provide all the disclosures and formal charges 14 days before the court reconvenes on September 15, 2022.

MBL is among 12 individuals and companies that owe the government a total of K6.1 billion after the government settled the funds on their behalf at the time it was selling its 80 percent shares to FDH Holdings.

Reports indicate that currently MBL has been paying K5 million a month and the company is expected to service the loan in 50 years, a development which attracted mixed reactions from the public.

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