In the ongoing case of leaked documents for a planned K25 billion (about $36.6million) drug tender, Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) chief executive officer Feston Kaupa yesterday maintained that the officer in question disclosed the information.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is prosecuting former acting registrar of the Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board (PMPB), Aaron Sosola, for disclosing tender documents to potential suppliers.
By virtue of his position, Sosola was a member of CMST Technical Committee and is accused of leaking the confidential details to suppliers in India and locally.
Sosola has been charged under Section 25(b)(10) of the Corrupt Practices Act where he is accused of abuse of office and under Public Procurement Act where he is accused of communicating undisclosed/confidential information.
When the case resumed in the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court yesterday, tempers flared between defence lawyer Manuel Theu and Kaupa during cross-examination. Theu’s line of questioning forced Kaupa to admit that Sosola could be innocent.
But Kaupa, who testified as the first prosecution witness, maintained that Sosola had a hand in the leakage of the tender documents.
Unichem managing partner Majid Panjwani is said to have broken the news and shared e-mails that Sosola allegedly sent to some bidders before the procurement team made the official announcement.
But Theu told the court that Panjwani could have tampered and edited the e-mails to betray Sosola because in 2004 PMPB led by Sosola closed a pharmaceutical firm belonging to Panjwani due to performance reasons.
However, ACB prosecutor Anafi Likwanya told the court that tender documents attached to the leaked e-mails were in PDF format, thus preventing any attempt to tamper or edit them.
The court has since adjourned the case to July 20 when ACB is expected to bring more witnesses. n