Former Cabinet minister Aggrey Masi and Surveyor General Julius Chisi yesterday testified in a case in which former minister of Irrigation and Water Development Charles Mchacha is accused of illegal acquisition of public land in Blantyre.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which is prosecuting the case, on Wednesday paraded the two witnesses.
He is accused of acquiring the land in what was called Kanjedza Forest Reserve without consent from Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining—the parent ministry for the Department of Forestry at the time.
Mchacha is accused alongside three others, namely former Minister of Lands Symon Vuwa Kaunda, former secretary to the President and Cabinet Lloyd Muhara and Ministry of Defence Principal Secretary Bright Kumwembe.
The three are accused of having a hand in the alleged illegal acquisition of land by Mchacha.
In his testimony, Masi, who served as minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining at the time of the transaction, told the court that he could not competently comment on the issue.
He said issues of land were handled by technocrats and that as line minister he was not involved.
Masi told the court: “The discussion of Kanjedza Forest was not concluded. The issue was still being discussed. Maybe the discussions were not concluded that is why there was no consent.”
On his part, Chisi told the court that the land in question was earmarked for construction of offices and staff houses for the Department of Forestry Regional Office.
Mchacha, Muhara, Kaunda and Kumwembe are answering 10 charges in connection with alleged acquisition of land at Kanjeza Forest in Blantyre belonging to Forestry Department.