By Joseph Dumbula
Malawian business heavyweight Thom Mpinganjira has been found with a case to answer for allegedly attempting to bribe five judges that heard the presidential election case.
Mpinganjira who owns one of the Southern African nation’s elite bank, FDH and other top businesses was arrested last year.
His arrest followed complaints by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda that some unknown people had been attempting to bribe the judges.
The judges heard the elections case in which the UTM, headed by former Malawi vice President Saulos Chilima and the country’s oldest political party, the Malawi Congress Party led by Lazarus Chakwera petitioned the court for the nullification of the results citing the irregularities that marred the poll in which Peter Mutharika was declared winner.
This was after the Constitutional Court had nullified the elections but waited for the Supreme Court to review the ruling.
Today, Judge Dorothy Degabrielle disclosed that Mpinganjira is answering six charges under the Corrupt Practices Act.
The charges are as follows:
1. Offering an advantage to a public Officer.
2. Attempting to induce a public officer to perform his or her functions corruptly in order for the five judges to rule in favour of Former President Peter Mutharika.
3. Attempting to induce a public Officer to abuse his office.
4. Offering an advantage to a public officer.
5. Attempting to induce a Public Officer to perform his duties corruptly.
6. Attempting to induce a public officer to abuse his office.
During the previous hearings, the accused pleaded not guilty and the state paraded six witnesses.
Meanwhile, the court has settled for 11 May, 2021 as in between the defense will be seeking direction on whether or not he will give evidence or exercise his right to remain silent.