The Office of the Attorney General has finally filed an application to seize property worth K5 billion belonging to former President Peter Mutharika’s aide Norman Chisale and others.
Ministry of Justice spokesperson Pirirani Masanjala confirmed to The Daily Times that the application was filed last week.
The matter has since been set for December 16, 2022, before Judge Mike Tembo at 9 in the morning.
In an earlier interview, Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda said the property in question ranges from houses and vehicles to money in banks.
“For the cash, we are going to transfer it to government’s Account Number One or Confiscation Fund and we will sell the property on auction,” he said.
Chisale’s lawyer Chancy Gondwe said the court will first hear the defence’s preliminary applications before the substantive application filed by the State.
“After hearing the preliminary objections, the court will make directions and we will respond to the State’s substantive application and other applications they will file, if the court will permit them to,” he said.
In January this year, the constitutional court dismissed Chisale’s challenge on a preservation order that Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steve Kayuni had sought on his property.
Chisale, who is answering several criminal charges, including abuse of office over his alleged role in the importation of cement using Mutharika’s duty-free status, is accused of illegally acquiring property worth billions of kwacha which allegedly do not tally with his know sources of income.
Chisale asked the Constitutional Court to determine whether the preservation order was not a violation of his rights as an accused person and to own property.
He also wanted the court to determine whether Kayuni was within his mandate to commence civil proceedings by obtaining the preservation order when section 99 of the Constitution stipulates that the DPP’s mandate is on criminal matters.
But High Court judges Dingiswayo Madise, Ken Manda and Anneline Kanthambi sitting as a Constitutional Court dismissed all the grounds and remitted the case back to Judge Tembo.
“The DPP was within his mandate under the law when he instituted civil proceedings under the Financial Crimes Act in the original court.
“The same should not be construed as limiting the powers of DPP under Section 65 of the FCA or indeed under any other law. The law accords the DPP with additional powers under the Acts of Parliament,” the judgement read in part.