Prosecution agencies, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Judiciary, have met to strategise on handling of cases relating to the plunder of taxpayers’ money at Capital Hill.
About 35 cases have been committed to the High Court while an additional 18 are pending committal with trial dates set from end this month.
DPP Bruno Kalemba confirmed on Tuesday that the three institutions met on Monday on the listing of cases and the space the Judiciary could provide to prosecutors to start trial.
“In a few days, we will know which cases will be coming on which dates. The other matter discussed was plans that Lilongwe High Court should get additional judges particularly for these cases,” Kalemba said.
Wednesdays, which are normally set aside for criminal cases at the High Court, have been dedicated to cashgate cases, with two to three cases to be handled every week, according to the cause list at Lilongwe High Court.
Registrar at the Lilongwe Registry of the High Court, Justus Kishindo, said there was a possibility of a change in the arrangement, but all indications were that priority would be given to cashgate cases as outlined on the cause list.
Lilongwe currently has three judges, Justices Esmie Chombo, Ivy Kamanga and Fiona Mwale but there are expectations that a few more would be transferred from other registries to preside over cashgate cases.
In a briefing on the implementation of the government action plan on cashgate, Minister of Information Brown Mpinganjira said government would ensure the Judiciary had sufficient financial support to have at least seven cases heard every week.
But he warned that commencement of trial on those involved in the plunder did not mean the end of investigations.
ACB continues to freeze bank accounts related to cashgate suspects and facilitating seizure of properties such as houses, land and vehicles suspected to have been procured using money stolen from government.