The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Tuesday started giving testimony against former president Bakili Muluzi in the corruption case where he is accused of diverting K1.7 billion (about $4.2m) in public funds to his personal bank accounts.
The trial resumed in earnest before High Court Judge Maclean Kamwambe on Tuesday when the State detailed expenditure towards purchase of vehicles and the building of Keza Office Park in Blantyre which Muluzi previously owned.
ACB dragged Muluzi to court in 2009 on charges of possession of unexplained property, diverting K1.7 billion funds into his personal account and the purchasing of vehicles worth K200 million (about $500 000) while he was president between 1994 and 2004.
Muluzi pleaded not guilty to all the charges. His co-accused, his former personal assistant Lyness Violet Whisky also denies the charges. Whisky is accused of aiding and abetting Muluzi.
First of the 32 State witness Victor Banda, who is ACB assistant director responsible for operations, testified by detailing to the court dates and amounts Muluzi allegedly paid CFAO Malawi towards the purchase of about 80 vehicles worth K123 million (about $307 500)
Muluzi, according to the prosecution, also paid about K165 million (about $412 500) to the City Building Contractors who built Keza Office Park which Muluzi owned, but was sold off recently.
The ACB contends that while Muluzi was president of Malawi, he was found to have been in control or possession of resources worth K1.7 billion reasonably suspected to have been acquired corruptly.
With Muluzi listening attentively as court proceedings went on, he could be seen to have difficulties in sitting and the court recognised this by adjourning the matter at intervals to allow him to stretch.
The case has been adjourned to today (Wednesday) afternoon to allow him to attend to his physiotherapist as recommended by his doctors in South Africa.
Muluzi is walking with difficulties, but is using a cane to support his mobility. A horde of sympathisers and supporters thronged the court, but the numbers keep on dwindling when compared to the past when he would attract a multitude of UDF supporters, the party he founded and led for several years.