High Court of Malawi Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda has dismissed an application by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to set aside his judgement on recusal in a case against former Inspector General of Police George Kainja.
The former top cop is challenging the ACB’s decision to arrest him based on foreign evidence connecting him to United Kingdom (UK)-based Malawian businessperson Zuneth Sattar who is answering corruption charges in the UK.
In his earlier ruling, Nyirenda said the ACB failed to make out a case for him to stop presiding over the matter and he dismissed the ACB’s application on the same. He stated 11 reasons why the application had to be dismissed.
ACB then applied for stay of the judgement on recusal so that it can appeal in the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal.
But the judge yesterday refused to set aside implementation of his earlier judgement, stating that he did not see any reason to stay the judgement.
This means the judge will continue hearing the case between ACB and Kainja.
In an interview after yesterday’s determination made in camera, ACB lawyer Imran Saidi said the court was not satisfied with the grounds that the graft-busting agency had brought forward to stay the judgement.
He said: “For the time being, the case that Kainja brought before court will proceed. It is only after we have consulted the director and a team of lawyers meet to give proper reflection on everything that we can form an opinion.
“But in the meantime, the status quo is that because of that dismissal of the application to stay, the matter still remains in this particular court and it will have to proceed.”
However, Saidi said there is room for appeal.
In a separate interview, lawyer representing Kainja, Gift Nankhuni, said the ACB application was not properly brought before court. He said the court observed that the application was done in a hurry and lacked substance.
“In short, the application was not properly brought according to the rules of procedure,” he said.
The case has been adjourned to November 15 2022 when the court will be expected to handle some preliminary issues and agree on how to proceed with the case.
According to the ruling that Nyirenda made earlier on recusal, the judge stated that ACB indicated that the information on which recusal was being sought was sensitive and that it had to do with a Sattar report, as such, it would not be right for ACB to file a written application.
ACB arrested Kainja on June 23 2022 on allegations that he received a bribe from Sattar to influence the award of a contract to the UK-based businessperson for the supply of 350 000 police food ration packs.
However Kainja, applied for judicial review of the ACB decision to arrest him based on information from the British National Crime Agency.