Senior Resident Magistrate Florence Msekandiana has ruled in favour of the State on an application to have a charge sheet amended to include Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (Fisd) Company Limited in a case involving its four directors.
The four directors; Moses Chirambo, Frank Mwenechanya, Kondwani Nanchukwa and Arthur Mpama are being accused of money laundering, conspiracy to commit a felony and fraud.
Speaking to Yoneco FM, Senior State Advocate Pilirani Masanjala said adding the Company to the charge sheet is a progressive step towards prosecuting the matter.
He said: “It is imperative that Fisd Company be included as an accused because the law under the Financial Crimes Act also stipulates that for example in money laundering cases if the accused person is a company then provides specific charge.”
“The money in question an all other processes in fact were being done under Fisd Company, so the accounts are in the name of the company so there is no way that we can proceed without having the company also as a party to the offenses because they were part and parcel of the whole process.”
But commenting on the ruling, one of the defence lawyers Burton Phiri expressed reservations with the determination arguing that there will be multiple complications.
“This case has already started, one witness has already testified, the second witness is about to close and these are very central witnesses to this case, and the State wants to bring another person to this trial,” said Phiri.
“We don’t know who will represent Fisd and we don’t know what position they are going to take but our concern now is that there are several complication to this trial, one of which are delays.”
Ministry of agriculture awarded Fisd Company Limited a K2.4 billion contract for construction, rehabilitation and expansion of gravity-fed water supply systems in Ntcheu District.
According to the State, the four directors are alleged to have received double payment of US$325, 731 for the same work from the African Development Bank.