The Constitutional Court in Blantyre has today made a landmark ruling by saying that former President Bakili Muluzi’s K1.7 billion corruption case should continue to be heard after it had dragged for nearly 12 years.
In 2011 Muluzi, applied to the Constitutional Court but he later withdrew the case.
However, through his lawyers Tamando Chokhotho and Jai Banda, he reapplied to the court to determine the constitutionality of section 32 (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA).
The former president wanted the court to invalidate the section arguing that the Section in question was putting the burden on the accused person to prove their innocence against the general principle where the burden lies in the hands of the State.
But a panel of three judges comprising Dingiswayo Madise, Dorothy Nyakaunda-Kamanga and Jack N’riva, who stood in for Sylvester Kalembera, ruled that the section in question was valid and in line with the country’s constitutional framework.
Muluzi is being accused of diverting K1.7 billion of public funds into his personal account during his rule from 1994 to 2004.
While the State, represented by senior assistant chief state advocate Steve Kayuni said it was happy with the court’s outcome, lawyers representing Muluzi indicated they would be appealing to the High Court because they believe the said section was invalid.