Africa-Press – Malawi. Vice President of Malawi Saulos Chilima has asked the High Court in Lilongwe to dismiss corruption charges against him as the charges do not show the amount Chilima allegedly received from businessperson Zuneth Sattar. Chilima was in court yesterday for the corruption case.
When he was arrested last year, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) claimed that Chilima received $280 000 (about K300 million) bribe from Sattar to assist the businessperson’s companies secure deals with government entities.
The new charge sheet, which includes charges such as breach of trust by public officer and corrupt transactions by agents, says Chilima received unspecified amounts of money for himself to influence a public officer to give his approval to enter into contract with the company.
One of the bureau’s lawyers Anafi Likwanya bureau argued that the money Chilima is alleged to have received cannot be specified as the bureau only wants to prove that a corrupt demand was made by the public officer and that there was an advantage. However, Chilima’s defence team said it is important for a suspect to get clarity of the allegations against them.
“All the five counts accuse the defendant of accepting and receiving money from Zuneth Sattar, how much money did he demand or accept? It’s a constitutional imperative for one to be informed of the specific particularity of the charges,” said Khumbo Soko, one of Chilima’s lawyers.
He described the charges against Chilima as unconstitutional and said they should be thrown out. In the morning on Monday, court commenced with Judge Redson Kapindu ordering ACB to provide defence team with copies of electronic data evidence from United Kingdom. Kapindu said the data need to be disclosed and treated with highest confidentiality. He also ordered the ACB to provide bank statements of Sattar from December 2020 to 2021.