11 January 2018

Malawi: High Court Adjourns Mussa's Passport Case

Lilongwe — The High Court in Lilongwe on Thursday adjourned the hearing of the infamous passport case involving former Minister of Home Affairs and International Cooperation, Uladi Musa and four others after the former failed to appear in court on the day.

In March 2017, Mussa surrendered himself to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) after the institution issued a warrant for his arrest accusing him of neglect of duty and illogical use of office from 2013 to 2014 when he headed the ministry.

The bureau said this led to over 50 passports being issued to foreign nationals from Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda and arbitrary granting them Malawian citizenship.

"The defense team asked the court to adjourn the case to tomorrow (Friday) because the first accused person is in Mangochi attending a funeral ceremony of one of the Islamic religious leaders and did not know of the funeral until yester evening that he felt compelled to be there.

"And since Mangochi is very far, it was impossible for the accused to make it in time for court appearance. The court upheld this request and shifted the hearing to tomorrow," state lawyer, Kamudoni Nyasulu, told journalists.

The lawyer said this would not pend completion of the case, saying with the current pace the case is progressing, it is projected that the case would end soon.

"We started the case in September and this is already the third time that we have tried to proceed with the case. Normally, you would see cases going up to three or four months without appearing in court that in a year, the case would appear in court for just three times.

"But in this case we have already gone to court around three times since we started in September," said Nyasulu.

The case was expected to appear in court on Thursday and Friday. But with the development, the state expects the case to go on until Saturday or Monday next week.

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