Principal resident magistrate Viva Nyimba has asked the State to expedite prosecution of the Ministry of Information alleged theft case involving former Cabinet minister Henry Mussa and former director of Information Gideon Munthali.
Nyimba, who yesterday adjourned the case to December 4 2020, said the two have a right to speedy trial.
The magistrate expressed his concern following an application by the State, saying such adjournments affect progress of the case. He also wondered why the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) was yet to give consent on the matter.
Mussa and Munthali were charged with theft by public servant and abuse of office in relation to the missing of three standby power generators and 10 computers at the Ministry of Information.
They appeared before the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court yesterday for plea and possible commencement of trial, but State prosecutor Cecelia Zangazanga asked for an adjournment, saying the case file was still with the DPP who was yet to give guidance on the matter.
Zangazanga asked for three more weeks to enable the State commence prosecution.
In an interview after the adjournment, defence lawyer Powel Nkhutabasa said he hoped the time given will enable the State conclude its work.
He said: “We did not object to the adjournment because the State wants to sort out a few things. And if they are ready, we will proceed from there.”
Mussa and Munthali were arrested in mid September 2020 on allegations that they stole computers and gensets donated by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority for use at the ministry’s offices.
Police recovered some of the items from the suspects. The two are currently on court bail