Kasungu South East legislator Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) has asked the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to let former president Bakili Muluzi off the hook in the alleged K1.7 billion corruption case.
The legislator, a great grand-niece of the country’s founding president Hastings Kamuzu Banda, made the request through a supplementary question in Parliament yesterday.
Said Chiponda: “The case has dragged for too long and I wonder if government could drop the charges. Dr. Bakili Muluzi is the father of democracy in Malawi. It’s amusing that the case only gets revived during election periods.
“The former president is ageing. I feel the case has become torturous to him and it is costing taxpayers money.”
But while sharing Chiponda’s sentiments, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Bright Msaka asked the legislator to submit a fresh question for a detailed response.
He said: “The matter is in court, therefore, the minister and the ministry cannot comment much on matters that are in court.
“But I want to agree with her about all the nice things that she has said about Dr. Bakili Muluzi. I entirely agree with her. I could say more, but not this time. But I agree with her.”
Chiponda’s question came as the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal is on March 24 2020 expected to resume hearing Muluzi’s case.
The case dates back to 2006. Muluzi is accused of diverting K1.7 billion of public money to his personal account during his presidency.
Muluzi’s lawyers obtained a stay of the criminal proceedings in the High Court pending his application to the Constitutional Court where he is challenging the constitutionality of Section 32 of the Corrupt Practices Act. Muluzi, 76, was the country’s first multiparty president who ruled from 1994 to 2004. He is charged alongside his former personal secretary Lyness Whiskey.