Hip hop artist Fredokiss and two others have pleaded not guilty to charges of offering handouts during the fresh presidential election contrary to the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (PPEA).
The three appeared before chief resident magistrate Gladys Gondwe in Mzuzu.
The case has been adjourned to July 28 when the State is expected to parade eight witnesses in a full trial after the trio pleaded not guilty.
The rapper’s lawyer Leonard Mbulo said in an interview that his clients are innocent, adding: My clients are denying the charges that have been levelled against them. They don’t know anything about these allegations.”
The rapper, born Fred Penjani Kalua and son to politician Kamlepo Kalua, was arrested in Rumphi on June 23 by Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers and was subsequently handed over to police. He was granted bail on June 24.
He was charged with the offense of “using fraudulent means to induce another person to vote for/against a particular candidate or party” contrary to Section 115(6) of the PPEA and Section 41 of the Political Parties Act.
However, the rapper released a statement after his bail, claiming that his arrest was “a case of mistaken identity”.
He wrote: “…I am concerned with how the mainstream media reported the whole issue without facts from both police and myself. We were never arrested for distributing money and this is not in line with my beliefs, principles and values. Mine is a case of mistaken identity.”
But State prosecutor Lloyd Banda said the police will parade eight witnesses on July 28 to prove their case.
“We have all the evidence to prove that the three committed the offense,” he said.
Fredokiss is a famous musician in the country and has a large following especially the youth, who christen him as the ghetto king.
The other two are Steven Mkabada 31, from Zingwangwa Township, traditional authority (T/A) Kapeni in Blantyre and David Kausiwa, 22, from Maloza Village, T/A Malemia in Zomba.