National

Mwanamvekha’s freedom from ‘IMF figures falsification’ case cut short as state restores charges against him

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has cut short the freedom Chiradzulu South lawmaker, Joseph Mwanamvekha, secured when the High Court discharged him in a case in which the State is accusing him of falsifying information to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) between 2018 and 2019.

Mwanamvekha – the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker and one time presidential aspirant – served as Minister of Finance during the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime.

Alongside former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Government, Dr. Dalitso Kabambe and Henry Mathanga, they were arrested for misrepresentating figures purportedly to make the IMF believe that the Government of Malawi was meeting conditions of the then $108 million Extended Credit Facility (ECF).

But when the matter came to the court in January this year, High Court Judge Redson Kapindu observed that the State conceded having no requisite evidence against Mwanamvekha and that based on the same, chances of a conviction against him were “unrealistic”.

Kapindo therefore discharged him from the case.

His charges have been restored – MWANAMVEKHA

But just as the lawmaker started focusing on how to strategize for the next General Elections in 2025, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions today, April 22 2024, decided to restore charges against him.

The State, through Director of Criminal Litigation, Dzikondianthu Malunda, has since asked the magistrate court to commit the accused to the High Court where he will be charged with offences relating to financial misreporting to IMF between 2018 and 2020 when he was minister of Finance under the DPP administration.

It is reported that lawyer Mercy Chijere Chirwa earlier on applied for an adjournment indicating that defence lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale, SC, intended to oppose the committal proceedings.

The court, however, proceeded to commit the matter to the High Court, Financial Crimes Division.

“When the DPP files a committal certificate, the duty of this court is to simply inform the accused persons that their matter will be heard at the High Court and, thereafter, transmit the file to the High Court,” said Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Khoswe Chimwaza.

Apart from Mwanamvekha, there were two others who were joined to the case, Samuel Maliton who was Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) General Counsel at the material time and Cliff Chiunda.

They join Henry Mathanga and Dr. Dalitso Kabambe, former RBM Governor, to answer charges of conspiracy, making misleading statements and money laundering.

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