An investigator for the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) says suspect Thom Mpinganjira told the bureau that he called judges in order to discuss ‘issues of national importance’ with the judges.
Dan Mponda, ACB’s Director of Investigations, testified in the Mpinganjira bribery trial on Friday morning.
Mponda said when the bureau asked Mpinganjira if he contacted Justices Michael Tembo and Healy Potani, the suspect confirmed.
He, however, claimed that he wanted to discuss with them issues of ‘national importance’ some of which were circulating on social media.
The bureau noticed that this was contrary to findings of its investigations hence decided to arrest Mpinganjira.
According to Mponda, the bureau found that Mpinganira offered money to the judges on several occasions so that they should rule the 2019 presidential elections case in favour of former President Peter Mutharika and Malawi Electoral Commission.
Justice Ivy Kamanga, in her testimony, said she listened to audio conversations between Mpinganjira and Justice Michael Tembo as well as read screenshots of conversations between the suspect and Justice Healy Potani. In one of the conversations, Mpinganjira asked Potani to meet him.
Other witnesses ACB paraded in the case include Potani, Tembo, Justice Redson Kapindu and Justice Dingiswayo Madise. The judges claim that Mpinganjira wanted to deliver a parcel of money to them.
Defence lawyers today asked Kamanga why the judges did not report the matter to ACB within 48 hours and the Kamanga said the delay was due to the nature of the Presidential election case.
Meanwhile, defence lawyers in the Thom Mpinganjira case have said they will present a ‘no case to answer’ submission to the court.
One of Mpinganjira’s lawyers Patrice Nkhono said this in court after the Anti-Corruption Bureau finished parading its witnesses in the case.
Before the trial started, the Mpinganira offered to plead guilty in a plea bargain deal but the ACB insisted on resuming the trial.