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Mangochi East MP bribery case starts

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High Court Judge Anabel Mtalimanja has adjourned the case in which Member of Parliament for Mangochi East Constituency Francesca Masamba is being accused of soliciting bribes from Michael Chiusiwa.

Parliament was interviewing Chisuwa for the position of Director at the Office of Public Officers Declarations (ODPOD) from August 16 to 17.

Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba, committee clerk for the Appointments Committee Longani Kabichi and the Director of Directorate of Public Officers Declarations Chiusiwa testified on Tuesday.

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Speaking after the court adjourned the case, lawyer representing Masamba, Wapona Kita, said he is satisfied with progress of the matter.

“So far, we are satisfied with progress of the case and the evidence that has [been tendered] before the court,” Kita said.

On his part, lawyer representing the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB), Imiran Saidi, said the lawmaker is answering a case in which she corruptly solicited money from Chiusiwa, one of the candidates who was then interviewed by the Public Appointments Committee for the position of Director of the Office of the Directorate of Public Officers Declarations (ODPOD) to influence the decision of the committee of the National Assembly in favour of him.

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“We have, so far, paraded three witnesses and we expect to parade more witnesses,” Saidi said.

During the court hearing, Chiusiwa told the court that the Member of Parliament was soliciting between K1 million and K2 million to entice 12 members of Parliament to vote in his favour.

However, during cross-examination, committee clerk of the public Appointments Committee, Kabichi told the court that he had no evidence that the member was soliciting bribes because all the information concerning the issue was never discussed during committee deliberations.

In 2020, ACB arrested Masamba over corrupt practices allegations.

The judge has since ordered the State to submit all the necessary documents before continuation of the case in August.

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