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Thomson Mpinganjira back to court Tuesday

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The High Court sitting in Blantyre will Tuesday deliver its ruling on whether business tycoon Thomson Mpinganjira has a case to answer in the judge bribery case.

Registrar Gladys Gondwe confirmed the development Sunday.

“From the records we have, that is the date set for the ruling,” she said.

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Mpinganjira is being accused of attempting to bribe the panel of five judges who were hearing the presidential election case to rule in favour of former President Peter Mutharika and Malawi Electoral Commission.

All the five judges testified against Mpinganjira in the case, including justices Mike Tembo and Healey Potani, who Mpinganjira allegedly contacted.

In his testimony, Tembo said Mpinganjira asked him to carry a parcel of money to Justice Potani, who would then share the money with the rest of the members of the panel.

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“Dr Mpinganjira said he wanted to verify if the initial money which the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] was sending us was indeed reaching us and also, as it turned out that the money was not reaching us, he undertook to make sure that this particular parcel reached us. He said he did not want to fail to deliver the parcel as others had failed in the past,” he said.

Justice Tembo also said in court that when he asked Mpinganjira about how much was previously sent for the judges to share, Mpinganjira said “it was in excess of K100 million”.

He also said he did not contact Mpinganjira at all but Mpinganjira contacted him four times and, in the totality of the conversations, Mpinganjira said there was a parcel which he wanted Justice Tembo to take to Justice Healey Potani, who was chairing the five-judge panel, to share with the entire panel.

But in cross examination Justice Tembo conceded that he did not actually see the parcel himself but said, from Mpinganjira’s tone, he believed that the parcel really existed.

Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda took the matter to the Anti-Corruption Bureau after the five judges reported that Mpinganjira was making moves on the panel.

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