Judge dismisses bribery suspicions

Mtambo: Whether is true will be decided
Mtambo: Whether is true will be decided

High Court Commercial Division Judge Michael Mtambo on Wednesday told the court in Blantyre that he would continue to hear the case between Mulli Brothers and Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) despite allegations that MSB bribed him.

Mulli Brothers, through its lawyers Dick Chagwanjira and Chancy Gondwe, asked the court for a referral to the Chief Justice to determine whether the arguments raised in the case against the State-owned MSB are constitutional in nature and should be referred to the Constitutional Court.

Said Mtambo in the course of the hearing: “Some people might think that MSB bribed me; others might think that I have a very expensive house because of MSB. Whether this is true will be decided by the Supreme Court.”

According to an affidavit filed by Gondwe, Mulli Brothers applied to the court to be allowed to bring before court auditors Johnson and Wilson to provide forensic audit evidence.

The auditors required 180 days and the judge ruled that the case should go ahead without waiting for the audit evidence.

Mulli Brothers is arguing that the K3.2 billion (about $8m) MSB claims is owed is an exaggerated amount.

When the case resumed yesterday in Blantyre, the judge continued to hear the case. That is when the judge mentioned about supposed suspicions that he continued to handle the case because MSB could have bribed him.

Yesterday, Gilton Chakhaza, Mulli Brothers group financial director, was supposed to testify. Chakhaza, however, wrote Chagwanjira and Company that he had gone to attend a funeral in Dedza.

Before Mtambo could make a ruling, Gondwe reminded the judge about ex-parte summons for referral of the matter for certification to the Chief Justice.

MSB lawyers argued that the referral is tactic to delay the case.

But Gondwe dismissed it, saying it is a constitutional right.

Mtambo said he would make a ruling (about case referral) on Tuesday.

MSB claims that Mulli Brothers took a K3.2 billion overdraft and is fighting repayment of the loan in court.

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