Mchacha’s land case adjourned to February

Hearing in the case of illegal sale of public land involving four former senior government officials has been adjourned to February 2, 2021.

Former Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara, Former Minister of Lands Symon Vuwa Kaunda and ex-Ministry of Defence Principal Secretary Bright Kumwembe are being accused of playing a role in illegal sale of land to the then Deputy Minister of Irrigation and Water Development Charles Mchacha.

The four were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

On Thursday, Lilongwe Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba ordered that cases under the Corrupt Practices Act for the accused persons should start again.

Principal Resident Magistrate Nyimba also ruled that offences under Penal Code have to proceed after amending the charge sheet.

The court therefore adjourned the case to February 2, 2021 and ruled that the state should make disclosures to the court within two weeks.

On the set date, the two accused persons will take plea regarding the offences under the penal code.

On Wednesday, the State asked the Court to consolidate the matter into a single case and commit it to the High Court.

But reacting to the State`s application, lawyer representing Mchacha and Muhara; Chancy Gondwe objected the committal arguing that there is no written consent from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) granted to the ACB and that the DPP office is currently vacant.

“There was a certificate of committal that came from the DPP, so we objected to that because at the moment we don’t have the DPP, there is vacancy.

“And the second issue is in relation to Section 42 (4) of the Corrupt Practices Act, 14 days has elapsed so where 14 days has elapsed if the accused were on bail they are supposed to be released without bail or being released unconditionally,” argued Gondwe.

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