Minister of Irrigation and Water Development Charles Mchacha has been granted bail following his arrest yesterday for using K539,000 public funds for his honeymoon.
Mchacha, Principal Secretary Henrie Njoloma and Lilongwe Water Board Chief Executive Officer Moses Mwenye appeared in court in Lilongwe today.
They were charged with abuse of office, theft and money laundering involving K539,000 public funds. The three pleaded not guilty to charges
They were granted bail on conditions that they produce to the Court K500,000 cash each as bail bond and report at ACB offices once every fortnight on Fridays
They have also been told to produce one surety each bonded at K1,000,000.00 not cash and to surrender travel documents to the Court.
Mchacha was Minister in the Peter Mutharika administration and he is Democratic Progressive Party Regional Governor for the South.
ACB Principal Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala said yesterday that the bureau’s investigation established that Mchacha while serving as Minister of Irrigation and Water Development abused his office by directing Njoloma to facilitate access to lodging services and food stuffs for his advantage and for the advantage of others at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre using Government of Malawi funds for personal gain under the pretext of lobbying for adjustment of water tariffs,
ACB also found out that Njoloma and Mwenye abetted Mchacha to abuse his office by initiating and instructing the process of preparing payment, using Government funds for lodging services, and beverages at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre.