Hearing of a fraud c a s e involving four directors at Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (Fisd) Limited has stalled.
The directors— Arthur Mpama, Frank Mwenechanya, Kondwani Nanchukwa and Moses Chirambo—were arrested last November by fiscal police on fraud allegations and were released on bail on November 13.
According to lawyer representing the suspects, Gift Nankhuni, the court scheduled December 15 2020 to commence hearing of the case, but the State did not turn up for the session.
In an interview yesterday, the lawyer said his clients have neither been given a new date for commencement of the case nor has the State served them with documents of details of the case since November 2020.
He said: “My clients were expecting to hear from the State early this month on the new date for commencement of the case, but up to now they have not heard anything on when they will be taken to court for a plea.”
Nankhuni said he was yet to served with any document regarding the arrest of his clients.
When contacted, Ministry of Justice spokesperson Pirirani Masanjala declined to comment on the matter saying that his office is not responsible for prosecuting the case.
He said briefly: “It is the police who are prosecuting, so they should respond.”
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera could also not be drawn to comment on the matter, only saying: “I’m finding out on this.”
Recently Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) ex e c u t i v e director Gift Trapence hit at government institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the DPP and the police for arresting people on corruption and fraud grounds without committing themselves to conclude cases.
In a written response yesterday, he described the slow pace of cases as worrisome, urging prosecuting institutions to perform their duties to people’s expectations.
Previously Government proposed that the country should have special courts for trying corruption and fraud-related cases following a rise in number of suspects being arrested.
The Fisd directors were arrested for allegedly forging documents to facilitate payment of the K2.4 billion African Development Bank funded water project.
They were given a court bail on condition that they surrender all travel documents and that each should pay K100 000 cash and K10 million sureties.