Viola’s corruption case adjourned to 2021

A court in Lilongwe has adjourned to next year a case in which former deputy chief executive officer of National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA), Gerald Viola, is accused of demanding a K330 million bribe.

Viola appeared before Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba where he was charged with conspiracy to misuses public office.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge. Viola wo is on bail was already charged with misuse of public office, interfering with public procurement and forgery.

Another suspect in the case is Chrispine Chingola who is being accused of conspiring with Viola. Chingola has been charged with three counts of forgery, influencing a public officer and conspiracy to misuse a public office.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and Magistrate Nyimba granted him bail. Nyimba adjourned the matter to 11 January 2021.

The Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) said on Wednesday that Chingola is suspected to have conspired with Viola over a K3.3 billion contract from which Viola demanded 10 percent of the money.

According to the bureau, it received an allegation in April that  Viola, while working as Deputy Chief Executive Officer for NFRA, single-handedly awarded a contract to a Lilongwe based company called Missie’s Trading owned by Chingola to supply 10,000 metric tonnes of maize worth MK3.3 billion without following procurement procedures.

It is further alleged that later on, Viola demanded 10% of the total contract sum translating to MK330,000,000.

The ACB investigations established that Chingola conspired with Viola to commit offences under the Corrupt Practices Act, Public Finance Management Act, Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act and the Penal Code.