"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, January 28, 2009

Malawi court stands firm: Former president Bakili Muluzi can be prosecuted

BLANTYRE, Malawi:
Malawi's former President Bakili Muluzi asserted his innocence in a
corruption investigation Wednesday, describing plans to prosecute him
for the alleged theft of $10 million as part of a plot to stop him from
contesting May elections.


Malawi's highest court opened the way for his prosecution with a
ruling Tuesday that struck down an injunction blocking the
investigation into the theft of international aid. The Supreme Court of
Appeal declared that no one is above the law.


The ruling comes days before candidates must submit nominations for the May 19 general elections.


"All this is political," Muluzi told The Associated Press in a
telephone interview. "They want to slow down my campaign because they
fear me. They want me to be busy in courts."


The Anti-Corruption Bureau had arrested Muluzi in 2006 alleging that
he had diverted some $10 million in donor funds to his personal
account. The money was from Taiwan, Egypt, Kuwait and Libya and was
donated for building dams and roads in the impoverished southern
African nation that Muluzi governed from 1994 to 2004.

Muluzi stepped down as required by law after serving two consecutive
terms and hand-picked his successor, economist Bingu wa Mutharika, who
won the 2004 elections. But the two men have fallen out and Mutharika
formed his own party, charging Muluzi and others in his party
disapproved of his tough anti-corruption drive.

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