Business magnet and bribery suspect Thom Mpinganjira has alleged that Judges on the Presidential Elections case, Justices Mike Tembo and Healy Potani, asked him for K300 million to delay the case.
Mpinganjira made the claims in his application demanding Judge Dorothy Degabrielle to recuse herself from the Judge bribery case. Mpinganjira is on trial for attempting to offer bribes to judges who were presiding over the 2019 elections case.
The Judges, including Justice Michael Tembo and Justice Healey Potani who is now a Supreme Court Appeal Judge, testified against Mpinganjira in the case.
However, Mpinganjira has accused the two of soliciting bribes from him after trial started. According to Mpinganjira, the two demanded K300 million to delay proceedings.
He said he reported the bribery attempt to Anti-Corruption Bureau and Malawi Police but is yet to receive an update on investigations.
Mpinganjira also claims that he was approached by relations of Judge President of High Court Sylvester Kalembera with a separate offer.
A person identified as Patrick Kalembera told Mpinganjira that Judge Kalembera could facilitate a suspended sentence in exchange for K200 million to be paid after ruling.
The businessperson also claimed that he got a message alleging that Judge Dorothy DeGabrielle could deliver a favourable judgement if he paid money.
In her ruling, DeGabrielle has refused to recuse herself saying she remains independent and no Judge can influence her handling of the case.
She said: “It is irregular to request a Judge’s recusal in pre-hearing. It would have been travesty of justice if I would have come to court to say I am recusing myself.
“This trial has always been public, everything this court has done is on record, it is a public trial, the independence and impartiality of the court has always been there, allowing the defendant to make applications and rule on them. It is Wrong to impugn impropriety based on external issues.”
Meanwhile, Mpinganjira who was found with a case to answer is entering his defence in the judge bribery case.