Court releases ex-deputy minister Mchacha on bail

Principal Resident magistrate ViVa Nyimba has released on bail former deputy minister of homeland security Charles Mchacha and Principal Secretary in the ministry of defence Bright Kumwembe.

Mchacha is answering four charges, three of which are bordering on inducing a public officer to perform functions corruptly to secure land while the other one is for verbally insulting and intimidating Nation Publications Limited (NPL) journalist Bobby Kabango.

Kumwembe is facing two counts of giving false information to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials and negligence of official duties.

Magistrate Nyimba has granted the two accused bail on conditions that they pay a sum of K500,000 each as bail bond, provide one surety each bonded at K500,000 each, submit travel documents to ACB and appearing before the ACB once in every fortnight.

Before he was granted bail, Lawyer representing Mchacha, Chancy Gondwe described the arrest of Mchacha as unconstitutional arguing the legislator was arrested on Sunday when he was preparing to go to attend parliamentary committee meetings which grants him immunity and privileges.

Gondwe has since asked the court to refer the matter to the Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda to certify the case for a constitutional hearing.

According to ACB prosecutor Victor Chiwala, the two accused person will be returning to court to take plea as the anti-graft busting body is yet to get a consent from the office of Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

On the application to refer the matter on arrest of Mchacha for constitutional interpretation, Magistrate Nyimba has directed that the state and defence should meet on January 17, 2020 to discuss as a separate application.

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