Malawi: Uladi Tells Court He Is Ignorant of Immigration, Citizenship Laws

25 November 2019

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president (Centre) Uladi Mussa has started defending himself on charges of misconduct on the issuance of Malawi citizenship to 50 foreigners when he served as Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security in the Joyce Banda administration between April 2012 and May 2014, telling the court that he doesn't know immigration and citizenship Acts.

Uladi Mussa: Malawi citizenships were granted to ineligible people.

Mussa, who resigned as President Peter Mutharika's special adviser on August 8 2019 through a letter to the Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), was together with four others found with a case to answer in the alleged abuse of office, neglect of official duties and giving false information.

As the first accused, Mussa was answering questions from State Prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu on whether he knew what he was doing when he was granting passports to foreigners.

Initially, Mussa told High Court judge Chifundo Kachale that he had issued the passports because principal secretaries had given him a memorandum containing some recommendations on the issue.

He said he could not grasp properly the immigration and citizenship laws.

Ironically, Mussa has been a long serving Member of Parliament for Salima South constituency has been a minister in various over the years.

The United States of America (USA) Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on July 3 this year barred Mussa and his family from travelling to the USA due to what termed "involvement in significant corruption".

"The Secretary of State is designating Mr. Uladi Basikolo Mussa, the current Malawian special adviser [to the President] on parliamentary affairs and former Malawian minister of Home Affairs, due to his involvement in significant corruption." read the statement which also indicated that he was designated publicly under Section 7031(c) by the US Government, according to the US Embassy.

The Anti-Corruption Bereau (ACB) arrested Peter Katasha (Malawian national) on February 28 2017 for allegedly presenting false information that he was related to some foreign nationals who were applying for Malawi citizenship.

He was charged with uttering a false document contrary to Section 121 and Section 360 of the Penal Code.

On 6th March 2017, ACB arrested Uladi Mussa, and Davi Kwanjana [former senior assistant chief Immigrations officer now regional Immigration officer Centre and charged them with one count of neglect of official duties contrary to Section 121 of the Penal Code and misuse of public office contrary to Section 25B (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act

ACB also arrested Pascal Rwasa, a Burundian national, for presenting false information that he was related to another foreign national who was applying for Malawi citizenship and also Esili Kubwimana, a Rwandan, for giving false information to Immigration officers.

Nyasulu will continue cross examining Mussa on Tuesday.

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