Mussa wants conviction erased


Former minister Uladi Mussa has asked the Supreme Court of Appeal to clarify the implication of his pardon by President Lazarus Chakwera, saying he believes that presidential pardon erases his conviction and sentence.

A nine-member panel of the Supreme Court of Appeal judges this morning heard submissions by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Mussa’s lawyers on the effect of the presidential pardon that Mussa got on April 12 this year.

Mussa was sentenced to five years in prison in 2020 for awarding citizenships and work permits to foreigners.

At the time he was being pardoned last month, he had already appealed against his conviction and jail term.

After he was pardoned by Chakwera, Mussa has discontinued his appeal and is now seeking interpretation from the court on the effect of the presidential pardon.

One of Mussa’s lawyers Chancy Gondwe argued that a pardon erases both conviction and punishment and the person becomes a newborn.

“Pardon removes guilt and everything is restored. Once granted , the rights of the individual are restored whether political or civil rights,” said Gondwe.

He added that Section 89 sub-section 2 of the country’s Constitution only talks about a pardon and not types of pardon.

However, private practice lawyer Kamudoni Nyasulu representing Anti- Corruption Bureau ( ACB) has told the court that Mussa is still a convict because a pardon does not erase a conviction.

He added that the release of Mussa from prison also contravened the law as some pardon requirements were not satisfied.

Nyasulu said there is no written authority to show which type of pardon was grante, whether conditional or free as provided by Section 112 of Prison Act.

According to Nyasulu, in the absence of the legal instruments used to pardon Mussa, the discharge certificate which Mussa was given is not enough.

Mussa is member of the Democratic Progressive Party and a former Member of Parliament and his conviction stops him from contesting in local government, parliamentary or presidential elections.

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