Witness fails to nail Muluzi down


Lawyers of former president, Bakili Muluzi, who is answering charges of misappropriating K1.7 billion, have said that the first state witness, Victor Banda, has failed to prove that the accused obtained the money corruptly.

During cross-examination which started on Monday this week, defence lawyers Tamando Chokhotho and Jai Banda have been grilling Banda, who is former deputy director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

Responding to the questions, Banda, who carried out an investigation on the matter as ACB’s chief investigator, kept confessing that he has no evidence that the money was corruptly obtained by Muluzi, saying ACB was only suspicious because there was no proper explanation and documentation from the accused.


When cross-examination resumed at the High Court in Blantyre, yesterday, Chokhotho analysed the charge sheet and brought forward figures that were deposited into Muluzi’s accounts at National Bank in Zomba from the Kingdom of Morocco and China. Banda conceded that he has no evidence that the money was acquired through corrupt means.

For instance, Banda failed to prove that K1 billion which Muluzi obtained from a bank in China and K11 million he acquired from the Kingdom of Morocco amounted to corruption.

Chokhotho claimed that his team is punching holes in the prosecution.


“The fact that the chief investigator has admitted that, in relation to the entire K1.7 billion that has been touted over the years, there is no evidence to support that it was corruptly obtained. I think that is a major step in this particular fight. So we are happy with the results that are yielding,” he said.

However, Clement Mwala who is representing the state in the case said failure by the first witness to prove that the money was corruptly obtained does not mean that there is no case because there are still other witnesses to testify.

“First, you must understand the charge. Section 32 [of the Corrupt Practices Act] is a charge you use where you do not have evidence, proving that, for example, somebody obtained money corruptly. You do not have evidence but looking at the dispropotionality of the income and the property, it leads you to conclude that corruption took place, so we will use that one,” Mwala said.

Meanwhile, Judge Maclean Kamwambe ruled that the hearing of the case should continue despite the defence’s request to have the charge sheet amended.

The case continues today.

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