Delay to prosecute suspects irks magistrate

A magistrate in Lilongwe has expressed worry over delays by the state to prosecute suspects.

Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba expressed the concern on Tuesday after adjourning the case in which former Minister of Information Henry Mussa and former Director of Information Gideon Munthali are being accused of stealing computers and gensets.

Mussa and Munthali were arrested in September and today the two were expected to take plea.

However, state prosecutor Cecelia Zangazanga told the court that the case files are still at the office of the Director of Public Prosecution where the prosecutors are seeking legal opinion.

Zangazanga asked the court to adjourn the case to give the state more time.

Nyimba adjourned the case to December 4 but told the state that such delays affect progress of cases. He also reminded the state that suspects have a right to a speedy trial.

Mussa and Munthali were arrested in September on charges of theft by public servant and abuse of office. They are suspected of stealing 10 computers and three generators which were donated to the Ministry of Information.

The magistrate’s remarks on delay of cases come as Malawians on social media have also been complaining about the delay by authorities to conclude corruption related cases some of which started over two years ago.