Mpinganjira tried to bribe judges through lawyer Frank Mbeta, says witness

Judge Michael Tembo, a witness in the Thomson Mpinganjira bribery case, says Mpinganjira claimed to have given money for the judges to elections case lawyer Frank Mbeta but the money never reached the judges.

Tembo is a state witness in the cases in which Mpinganjira is being accused of offering over K100 million to the five judges who were presiding bribing over the elections case.

According to Tembo, while the presidential elections case was being heard Mpinganjira called him on several occasions.

During the conversations, Mpinganjira told Tembo that he sent money to the judges through Mbeta and wanted to know if the money was reaching the judges. Mbeta was lawyer for former President Peter Mutharika who was the first respondent in the elections case.

Mpinganjira also suggested, according to Tembo, that he was also sending money for the judges through his relative Brown Mpinganjira who is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which is led by Mutharika.

Mpinganjira told Tembo that he sent over K100 million through the people and the issue was known by the DPP.

The businessperson also claimed during the conversations that his relative Brown had reported to him that lead judge in the elections case Justice Healey Potani received the bribe but he (Thom) was not sure if this was true.

Mpinganjira then asked Tembo to pass the bag of money to Potani.

However, Tembo declined to receive the money and told the businessperson that the people who were receiving money from him only wanted to dupe him since cases are decided using facts presented in court.

“I never received the money and I did not agree to take the parcel to the other judges,” Tembo told the court.

During the hearing, Tembo presented to the court recorded conversations and WhatsApp text conversations between the two.

High Court Judge Dorothy DeGabrielle adjourned the case to Friday afternoon.

Mpinganjira is accused of attempting to bribe five judges, including Tembo and Potani, as he wanted them to rule the elections case in favour of Mutharika.

The judges in their ruling nullified the 2019 elections and declared that Mutharika was not duly elected.

 

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