Malawi: Mzomera Appeals Conviction and Sentence to High Court

17 October 2020

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the North Christopher Mzomera Ngwira the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the North convicted and sentenced to four years in prison for misusing public office is appealing his conviction and sentence at the High Court, his lawyer has said.

Ngwira was prosecuted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for diverting K650 000 from the Local Development Fund (LDF).

The court heard that the former member of Parliament (MP) for Mzimba Hora abused his office as MP to award a contract of teachers houses construction for Lukwelukwe Primary School to Louis Mtonga of Taonga Shopping Centre in Mzimba when the duty to do so was with the Project Management Committee (PMC).

During sentencing, senior resident magistrate Msiska questioned Mzomera Ngwira's character as a reverend and leader in the community.

He said: "Being a public officer the convict would have promoted transparency and accountability in his dealings, but he did not."

Msiska, therefore, went on to sentence him to 48 months' imprisonment with hard labour and revoked his bail.

But lawyer Victor Gondwe of John Tennyson and Associates has said he would file an appeal at the High Court for both conviction and sentence.

He said: "We are not satisfied with the sentence and even the conviction of the case. We are going to appeal to the High Court."

ACB director of legal and prosecution Chrispin Khunga, who was prosecuting, expressed satisfaction with the conviction and sentence.

High profile opposition DPP figures treasurer general Jappie Mhango and Parliamentary chief whip Simon Vuwa Kaunda and Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa witnessed the sentencing.

Ngwira's wife Martha, legislator for Mzimba Hora, who replaced him after he was declared bankrupt and could not contest in the 2019 polls, stood motionless in disbelief as police vehicle whisked convict Mzomera away from Mzimba Magistrate Court to prison.

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