The High Court in Lilongwe has delayed hearing of a judicial review application by Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa for his alleged corruption following a fresh application by co-accused Ashok Nair.
Msukwa, who was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which alongside the United Kingdom’s National Crimes Agency is investigating alleged corruption by businessperson Zuneth Sattar—applied for a judicial review against his arrest, saying it was illegal.
Nair is allegedly Sattar’s business associate.
Yesterday, the High Court in Lilongwe was supposed to begin hearing the application for the judicial review after the High Court in Zomba referred the matter to Lilongwe Registry.
Msukwa was arrested by the ACB for allegedly obtaining bribes in form of K15 million, a Mercedes-Benz and K4 million from Sattar mostly through Nair to intervene in a land-related matter in Area 46 Lilongwe and Chipoka in Salima.
But speaking after a hearing in Judge Simeon Mdeza’s chamber, ACB director of legal services Chrispin Khunga said the court had decided to provide more time to the parties to review an application by Nair to join the case.
He said the ACB was ready to proceed with the application by Msukwa for judicial review, but was not ready for application for the release of Nair from custody.
“What transpired is that before we went to court, our colleagues who wanted to join the case served us with documents and as part of proper case management, the court felt that we needed to be properly served, even ourselves wanted to be properly served,” Khunga said.
Msukwa’s lawyer, Chimwemwe Kalua, said their party was ready with the commencement of the matter, but welcomed the court’s directions.
“The ACB was of the view that we should have proceeded, but the new claimant who has joined the case was of the view that for the sake of fairness, we must give all parties time,” he said.
Kalua said the court had scheduled the next hearing next Tuesday.