The High Court in Lilongwe on Friday adjourned to December 6 2017, hearing of a case in which former minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Uladi Mussa is answering charges of aiding at least 55 foreigners to illegally obtain citizenship while he was a Cabinet minister.
According to the ruling by Justice Chifundo Kachale, the court will meet for three consecutive days from December 6-8 this year.
When the court met on Friday, it transpired that there were some discrepancies in the disclosures by the State as some documents the defence team was given and those shared with the court did not have some copies.
Kachale observed that because of the big size of the disclosures, there was need to sort out the anomalies before witnesses proceed to give testimonies.
State prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu told the court that there were only errors in terms of compilation of the disclosures and asked the court that they meet after the adjournment and have the documents sorted out.
Michael Goba-Chipeta, who is representing one of the accused persons in the case, Pascal Lwanda, said in an interview after the hearing that he was satisfied with the explanation by the State regarding the discrepancies.
Said Goba-Chipeta: “All the discrepancies and everything else have been sorted. We were properly guided by Kamudoni [Nyasulu] himself about where to place the documents; so we managed to do that properly, but since the exercise took a bit of time, the court had no choice but to adjourn to another date.”
On Thursday, first State witness, former chief Immigration officer Hudson Mankhwala, outlined the process for obtaining various permits such as student, visitors, citizenship, temporary residence and permanent residence.
In his opening statement before parading the first witness, Nyasulu said evidence would show that staff at the Immigration Department and members of the public eclipsed senior public service management on the pretext of serving leadership at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security.
The prosecutor said this incompetence created a fertile ground in the ministry for fraud.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Mussa in March this year on charges of negligence and abuse of office but Mussa said at the time that his arrest was politically-motivated.
He handed himself to the ACB after reports surfaced that the bureau wanted to arrest him in relation to the granting of citizenship and passports.