By Peter Fote
The Kamuzu Stadium gate fraud case started at the Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate court Wednesday with six suspects being remanded at Chichiri Prison.
The six are suspected to have played different roles in fraudulent acts that resulted in some of the suspects being caught with over K437,000.
This was during a TNM Super League match between Mighty Wanderers and Sable Farming at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on April 16.
Two of the six are directors of Unity Gate Management Company, Laston Theu and Wyson Chingana.
The company was contracted to manage gate collections during the match.
The rest are cashiers Prince Ndalama, Gladys Meja, Chiyembekezo Buffalo and Tigo Fungulani.
State prosecutor Francis Malenga told the court that he would parade five witnesses in the case.
He, however, said the witnesses were not ready yesterday and asked for an adjournment.
“We will be ready and good to go even as early as next week. We have finished our investigations and we are asking the court not to grant the suspects bail for fear of interfering with our witnesses,” Malenga said.
However, lawyer representing the suspects, Ian Kumpita, disputed Malenga’s request to the court, saying the suspects deserved bail.
“The suspects have the right to be given bail. The suspects have been cooperating with the police since their arrest and some of them are married. They can’t run away,” Kumpita said.
After listening to both parties’ arguments, Senior Resident Magistrate Akya Mwanyongo said he would deliver his ruling on Monday
“For the betterment of both parties in the matter, having carefully gone through submissions by the State and the defence, I will remand the suspects until Monday, April 25,” he said
This is the first high-profile case involving gate collection theft at stadiums to be brought before a court of law.
The suspects have been charged with theft, in line with Section 275 of the Penal Code.
The matter has been registered as Criminal Case number 512 of 2022.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.