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Witness implicates Atupele in fraud case

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Atupele Muluzi has been implicated in a case in which two people are answering a charge of defrauding a Lilongwe-based businessperson Trevor Kandonje.

When the matter resumed at the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Kandonje, who was the first witness to testify in the case, revealed that Muluzi had a meeting with him which was facilitated by the two suspects in the matter, Steven Otieno and Imran Mlanga.

At the hearing, drama ensued after it was observed that Mlanga was not in court.

Magistrate Paul Chiotcha ordered the arrest of Esnart Katema, who was Mlanga’s surety.

But through lawyer Gabriel Chembezi, she later obtained a stay order.

Katema is believed to be related to both Muluzi and Mlanga.

When testifying in the court Kandonje said in September 2014, Otieno and Mlanga approached Kandonje to help in running an SMS campaign through Kempcall, a company for which he is the director.

He said the two produced business cards which showed that they worked for Muluzi.

“Around that time, to ensure that I gained more trust in them, Mr. Otieno arranged a meeting with Honourable Atupele Muluzi at his office at Capital Hill where I and my colleague Bram Fudzulani, who is Technical Director of Kempcall Limited, met the minister together with my son.

“At the meeting, which was brief, Mr. Otieno introduced us to the minister as officials from a company that was being hired to facilitate the SMS campaign….,” said Kandonje.

He added: “This instilled some confidence in us to work with Otieno and Mlanga. Immediately they asked to hire four vehicles from City Transport Brokers and we agreed on terms.”

There was no cross-examination after Kandonje’s testimony.

But Chembezi later obtained a stay order against the arrest of Katema.

Chembezi initially represented Mlanga in the matter but later stopped representing him.

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