Bribery suspect Mpinganjira offers to plead guilty

Former FDH Group boss Thomson Mpinganjira has been remanded to Chichiri Prison after he offered to plead guilty to corruption related charges to save time and resources.

When Mpinganjira appeared before court today, his lawyer Patrice Nkhono told judge Dorothy De Gabriel that the suspect wanted to enter plea bargaining.

Plea bargaining is an arrangement where the  defendant and the prosecutor agree that the suspect pleads guilty to a lesser offence or to one only one or more counts of a charge.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director Reyneck Matemba said the bureau is ready to parade witnesses. He expressed reservations over the deal but said they are willing to negotiate.

Judge De Gabriel accepted the plea bargain application and then remanded Mpinganjira to Chichiri Prison after revoking his bail. The case is expected to be back in court on October 30.

ACB’s witnesses in the case include the judges: Justices Mike Tembo, Ivy Kamanga, Redson Kapindu, Healy Potani and Dingiswayo Madise.

Mpinganjira is accused of offering a bribe to the Constitutional Court judges who were presiding over the elections cases.

The former FDH Group CEO was earlier this year charged with an attempt to induce Justices Tembo and Potani to exercise their function corruptly and accept K100 million for their benefit and for the benefit of the other three judges.

He was also charged with attempting to induce the judges to abuse their office.

Mpinganjira wanted the judges to decide the presidential elections case in favour of former President Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) who were respondents in the 2019 elections case.

Mutharika and MEC lost the case as the court nullified the 2019 presidential elections. The two also lost their appeal at the Supreme Court.