Two of the five people suspected to have impersonated President Peter Mutharika and other senior government officials to swindle chiefs have been released on court bail.
Northern Region Police spokesperson Maurice Chapola on Wednesday confirmed the release on bail of Lyton Kamanga (34) of Chivalo Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Jalavikuwa in Mzimba and Chimwemwe Gondwe, 38, of Chikulesinde Village, T/A Chikulamayembe in Rumphi.
The other three—Blessings Kabuye (38) of Katutula Village, T/A Mwabulambya in Chitipa, David Gondwe (39) from Yakobe Singini Village, T/A Jalavikuwa in Mzimba and Christopher Chunda, 33, of Kamangila Village, T/A Mtwalo in Mzimba—failed to meet bail conditions and are still on remand at Mzuzu Prison, according to Chapola.
The suspects are answering three counts of cheating, one count of impersonating a public officer and one count of making false documents. They denied the charges when they appeared before court.
They were arrested after senior group village head Brian Mkoweka, 65, of Mhango Village, T/A Chisovya in Rumphi reported to police that the suspects had been to the district demanding money from chiefs after the President had reportedly elevated 10 of them.
In March this year, the suspects are alleged to have forged a letter to trick the chiefs. However the letter, which had Kaphaizi as its signatory, had no government stamp or emblem and was not signed. The letter also had many grammatical errors.