"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why is Bakili Muluzi afraid of being questioned by the Authorities?

Lawyers representing former president Bakili
Muluzi yesterday presented four grounds of appeal in a case where the
former president wants the Supreme Court to overturn a High Court
decision to vacate an injunction he earlier obtained against the
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)––restraining the bureau from questioning
him on K1.4 billion donor money he allegedly diverted to his personal
Before presenting the grounds before Chief Justice
Lovemore Munlo, Justice Duncan Tambala and Justice Elton Singini, the
four Muluzi lawyers ––Fahad Assani, David Kanyenda, Gift Mwakhwawa and
Jai Banda––wanted to bring fresh evidence to the court which would have
a bearing on their appeal against the vacation of the High Court
This was, however, withdrawn after the three judges
pointed out that the hearing was not a fresh case but rather an appeal
against the earlier ruling of the lower court with which the appellant
(Muluzi) was dissatisfied.
In the first ground, Muluzi argues “the
learned judge erred in law by holding that it was open to the appellant
to commence proceedings either by way of judicial review or originating
summons”. The lawyers further argued that having found that Muluzi was
entitled to commence proceedings by way of expedited originating
summons, the lower court erred in holding that he should have proceeded
through judicial review.
On the second ground, Muluzi argues that
the judge erred in law and fact in holding that he was supposed to give
notice as required by Section 4 of the Civil Procedure Act Cap 6:01 of
the Laws of Malawi before commencement of the High Court case.
third ground is against the presiding judge’s statement that
maintaining the injunction would mean suspending the business of the
ACB in that people who are not public officers such as presidents,
ministers, deputy ministers and Members of Parliament would simply
follow suit and obtain injunctions should they find themselves in
similar situations.
According to Muluzi’s team, the injunction order
did not prevent ACB from continuing its investigations as it
interrogated, among others, Muluzi’s former and serving secretaries or
personal assistants.
“The learned judge erred in law in holding that
the balance of convenience lies in favour of vacating the ex-partes
injunction order,” the ground reads.
“The decision of the learned
judge in vacating the ex partes injunction order and striking out the
originating summons is misconceived and wrongful in law,” reads the
fourth ground.
Hearing of the case continues this morning with the ACB presenting its response to the application.
2005, the ACB summoned Muluzi to interrogate him on the K1.4 billion
that allegedly ended up in his personal account when he was in power.
Muluzi obtained an injunction from the High Court restraining the
bureau from questioning him.
Later, the ACB filed another
application in the same court to vacate the injunction. The court
removed the injunction and refused Muluzi’s application for an order
staying the execution of notices from ACB summoning Muluzi.
then lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court and applied for a stay in
the notices. The upper court granted an order of stay until
determination of the appeal, overturning the High Court’s decision that
the injunction be vacated.
In July 2006, the ACB arrested Muluzi and
charged him with 42 counts on allegations of corruption, theft by
public servant and breach of trust. Muluzi chose to remain silent and
was later released on bail without conditions

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