Malawi: Judge Rules ACB At Liberty to Rearrest Mpinganjira - Admonishes Lawyer for Abuse of Court in Midnight Bail

28 January 2020

High Court Judge Dorothy NyaKaunda Kamanga has reinstates Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) warrant of arrest for business mogul Thom Mpinganjira for his alleged role in the alleged attempt to bribe High Court of Malawi judges set to deliver judgement in the presidential election nullification petition case.

The judge ruled that the move for Mpinganjira's lawyer Lusungu Gondwe to cancel the warrant did not comply with the law.

Mpinganjira, who is group chief executive officer of FDH Financial Holdings Limited and board chairperson of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), was arrested on January 22 2020 following a formal complaint from Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda on November 28 2019 that two of the five judges hearing the case reported bribery attempts.

The High Court was reviewing Zomba Magistrate's Court decision to release Mpinganjira at midnight last week following his arrest.

The ACB is now at liberty to execute the warrant of arrest which the High Court ruled was quashed by Zomba Magistrate irregularly as there was no certificate of agency.

The court has also admonished lawyer Lusungu Gondwe for the manner in which he execute the matter and asked the registrar of the High Court to file a disciplinary action against Gondwe within 7 days

Judge Kamanga has also issued an order that Mpinganjira should not to hire Gondwe and Ritz Attorneys, saying they cannot represent him in criminal matter.

The High Court ruling also indicated that Principal Resident Magistrate Ben Chitsakamile had no jurisdiction to quash warrant of arrest issued by Lilongwe Magistrate Court and that he failed to keep records, he made a determination before he was moved.

There was no hearing at all.

The High Court has since ordered Registrar to refer lawyer Gondwe within 7 days to Judicial Service Commission for disciplinary action.

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