The Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court yesterday started hearing a rare case where the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) is prosecuting an employee of the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) over leakage to suppliers of documents about a planned K25 billion drug tender.
The employee, Aaron Sosola, then acting registrar of the Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board (PMPB), was also a member of the CMST Technical Committee when he allegedly leaked confidential details of the tender to suppliers in India and locally.
Sosola has been charged under Section 25 (b)(10) of the Corrupt Practices Act where he is accused of abuse of office and under Public Procurement Act where he is accused of communicating undisclosed information.
The bureau’s first witness, CMST chief executive officer Feston Kaupa, told the court he first heard about the leakage in August 2012 after receiving a telephone call from then Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) executive director Martha Kwataine.
He said he later received an e-mail on the same from Majid Panjwani, managing partner of Unichem, a pharmaceutical wholesale company.
Kaupa said the developments prompted the CMST board to call an emergency meeting which resolved to issue a press statement on the leakage and establish a report which was also shown in court.
Private practice lawyer Manuel Theu, who is representing Sosola, told the court that he needed more timeto scrutinise the report by CMST to prepare his client’s defence as the document was not made available to him prior to the hearing.
The case has since been adjourned to April 20 2016 when Kaupa is expected to continue testifying on the connection of the leakage to Sosola.
Prosecuting the case on behalf of ACB are Chrispine Khunga and Anafi Likwanya.