People’s Party (PP) interim leader Uladi Mussa says his arrest on Monday waspolitically-motivated to shake his political career.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Mussa on charges of negligence and abuse of office.
Addressing PP supporters and other inquisitive onlookers after pleading not guilty to the charges at the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Mussa said the arrest was not his first.
“I was also arrested in Nkhotakota and, as I am talking now, I have another case in Blantyre where I am being told to pay K105 million for terminating a contractor who was doing shoddy work. Now, what was I supposed to do (with the contractor)?” he queried, vowing to fight on for his rights and freedoms.
“I know that these charges fall in the same line. As a minister, I couldn’t have just handed over passports to foreigners. This is a process, and all applications go through a committee, then through the PS [principal secretary], then finally me. There was no way I could have signed without proper verifications,” Mussa said.
He was referring to the fact that his charges are based on what is alleged to have been his final authorisation to an apparent irregular process that saw the Immigration Department granting citizenships and passports to immigrants from neighbouring countries.
Mussa, who is accused of having appended his signature to the said irregularities while he was Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security over three years ago, was charged along with former senior assistant chief immigration officer David Kwanjana, who also denied the charges.
Senior resident magistrate Patrick Chirwa granted bail to both, saying the two must report to the ACB every fortnight. They are also ordered to surrender their travelling documents to the ACB.
“You will need to pay a bail bond of K500 000 cash and provide two sureties, at K500 000, non-cash,” intoned the magistrate.
When the State, represented by Victor Chiwala, wanted to have different bail conditions for the two, Chirwa threw the application out for lack of evidence.
Mussa on Monday handed himself to the ACB after reports surfaced that ACB was geared to arrest him over the apparent citizenship and passport scams.n