25 May 2018

Malawi: Lawyer Kanyenda Released On Bail After Spending a Night in Police Custody

Blantyre-based private practice lawyer David Kanyenda walked home on Thursday after being released on bail by the Blantyre Magistrate Court following his arrest on Wednesday afternoon.

Nyasa Times reported earlier that Kanyenda was arrested by Fiscal and Fraud Section of Malawi Police for allegedly misappropriating a client's funds.

Kanyenda was arrested at Chileka International Airport on his arrival from South Africa.

Lawyer Chancy Gondwe, who filed a bail bid, confirmed Kanyenda spent a night in police custody but has been granted bail.

He declined to give details of the charges Kanyenda is facing.

National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera, who confirmed the arrest, also declined to divulge further details on the matter to "avoid jeopardising investigations."

He said details of the matter will be disclosed "at an appropriate time."

Insiders said Kanyenda was picked after failing to account for clients money including legal fees amounting to more than K57 million in a case where he represented a group of people who won an unfair dismissal case.

This is the second arrest within three months for Kanyenda after the same fiscal police in Blantyre also put him in the cooler in March for allegedly embezzling K5.8 million in client's money.

There have been cases of lawyers swindling their clients but the Malawi Law Society (MLS) has been slow in disciplining them.

MLS Mwiza Nkhata said lawyers are not above the law and like anybody else, they are also subjected to the same laws of the land when they commit a crime.

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