Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) says former Minister Kezzie Msukwa attempted to evade arrest by moving from one hospital to another after the bureau had obtained a warrant of arrest against him.
Msukwa on Monday together with his lawyer Lugano Mwabutwa was cross-examined before High Court Judge Redson Kapindu in Lilongwe in a case where Msukwa is seeking a judicial review of his arrest and detention on allegations of receiving bribes.
Msukwa told the court that on December 31, 2021 he moved from one health facility to another looking for medical assistance as he suspected that his blood pressure was high.
According to Msukwa, he was treated as an outpatient at Discovery Clinic in Lilongwe but he went to Masm Clinic for a second opinion where he found a long queue of patients. He then went back to Discovery where he was given some medication before being referred to Partners in Hope.
All this time, the ACB had obtained an arrest warrant against who was the then Minister of Lands. ACB officials found Msukwa at Partners where they arrested him.
Msukwa told the court that his rights were violated during the arrest.
“I was arrested at the front door. I was wheeled inside while in handcuffs and was chained to a drip stand before the cuffs were removed upon request of the doctor who wanted to examine me,” he said.
On his part, Mwabutwa claimed that Msukwa was informing ACB officers of his whereabouts on the day.
But ACB alleged that the former minister was evading arrest and feigning illness.
“If a person commits a crime and is evading arrest, what do you do? To us, it was reasonable under the circumstances to arrest him,” ACB lawyer Victor Chiwala said.
In his application for judicial review, Msukwa said ACB was wrong to use information from the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom in making its decision to investigate and arrest him.
But ACB witness in the case, Isaac Nkhoma, told the court that an investigator from United Kingdom’s National Crimes Agency (NCA) came to Malawi to share the information and the two agencies signed an agreement between July and October 2021 to be sharing information.
The bureau on 29 December, 2022 obtained an arrest warrant for Msukwa over allegations that he received K23 million and a Mercedes Benz in bribes from a businessperson in order to facilitate land deals. Msukwa reportedly informed the bureau that he would hand himself in on 31 December but he never did.
Instead, he went to hospital and ACB officials followed Msukwa to the hospital where they arrested him.