Mchacha, others plead not guilty

Former Cabinet Ministers Symon Vuwa Kaunda and Charles Mchacha and two others have pleaded not guilty to several charges being levelled against them in relation to the alleged illegal acquisition of government land in Blantyre`s Kanjedza Forest Reserve.

The two ex-ministers, who appeared before High Court Judge Anabel Mtalimanja in Lilongwe, are answering the charges together with former chief secretary to the government Lloyd Muhara and Principal Secretary for Ministry of Defence Bright Kumwembe.

According to the State, Mchacha is facing three charges which include enticing public officers to perform their functions corruptly and use of insulting language.

And Muhara is answering a charge to do with abuse of office while Kaunda is facing a charge of abuse of office and corrupt transaction with a private individual, whereas Kumwembe is being accused of giving false information.

The State says it will parade a total of 25 witnesses in the trial.

Meanwhile, the State has completed examination in chief first witness, Stella Gama who is Forestry Advisor in the Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources and she yet to cross examined by the defense.

The four, who are currently on court bail, were arrested last year in connection to suspected illegal acquisition of government land by then cabinet minister, Mchacha.

Hearing of the matter has since been adjourned from 3 up to 5 August this year.

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