Mchacha charged with using insulting language

Former cabinet minister Charles Mchacha has been charged with three corruption related offences and one count of using insulting language against a journalist.

Mchacha was arrested on Sunday and appeared before Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba today.

Three of the counts are inducing a public officer to perform his functions corruptly and one count is on use of insulting language.

In February this year, Nation Publications Journalist Bobby Kabango contacted Mchacha over his acquisition of Plot Number LW1366 at Limbe West (Kanjedza Forest) in Blantyre City which belonged to the Department of Forestry.

In response, Mchacha who was Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works at the time launched various obscenities at Kabango.

Mchacha repeated the obscenities several times, challenged the journalist to record the conversation and threatened to confront Kabango at his office.

He later apologized but has now been charged by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). The corruption charges are also believed to be related to the acquisition of the plot.

Ministry of Defence principal secretary Bright Kumwembe was also arrested on Monday in relation to the case. He has been charged with two counts of giving false information and neglect of official duties.

The two have since been granted bail today on conditions that each deposit of K500 000 cash bond and produce one surety bonded at K500 000 non cash.

They are also required to report to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and surrender travel documents.

The ACB has said that it plans to make further arrests bfore it can start prosecuting suspects over the corruption offences.

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