Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal judge Frank Kapanda has granted an order stopping the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) from starting proceedings against former minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa pending appeal.
The decision followed an application by Msukwa through his lawyer Chimwemwe Kalua who sought the order to stop ACB from investigating, arresting and prosecuting him based on information gathered from National Crimes Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom (UK) in connection with a plot in Area 46, Lilongwe, sold to UK-based businessperson Zuneth Sattar.
Delivering the ruling on Monday as a single Supreme Court judge, Kapanda ordered that enforcement of a judgement by High Court of Malawi judge Redson Kapindu be put on hold pending hearing of the interpartes application for stay of the High Court judgement.
He said: “This order of stay only relates to and is limited as well as confined to the first claimant honourable Kezzie Msukwa.”
In an affidavit in support of the application, Kalua argued that the information ACB obtained on Sattar, which led to Msukwa’s investigations and subsequent arrest, was illegally obtained without being sanctioned by a cooperation arrangement between Malawi through the Attorney General and the UK government or NCA.
Before the application, Msukwa started judicial review proceedings in the High Court challenging ACB’s decision, but Kapindu dismissed the judicial review action.
On May 30 2022, Kapindu dismissed an application by Msukwa and businessperson Ashok Nair that ACB violated their constitutional rights in effecting their arrests last December.
The judge said the court did not find any legal basis that a person may not be arrested while receiving treatment in hospital, but added that every case should be treated based on circumstances.
Nair joined the judicial review case on the same basis that his arrest violated his constitutional rights.
Meanwhile, the High Court in Lilongwe has reserved its ruling on an application by Nair to suspend enforcement of Kapindu’s order made earlier in relation to evidence obtained by the NCA.
The court on May 30 ruled that the bureau was at liberty to use the evidence and also collaborate with other agencies on a matter without the involvement of the Attorney General.