TCdedi backs VP on presidential immunityhe Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court has ordered the State to amend the charge sheet in a case minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha and others are accused of falsifying economic indicators.
The defence wants the charge sheet to include dates and names of officers involved.
Mwanamvekha alongside former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor Dalitso Kabambe and former RBM deputy governor Henry Mathanga are accused of having influenced officers in the RBM Financial Market in 2019 to falsify information to make International Monetary Fund (IMF) believe Malawi was meeting conditions connected to the $108 million Extended Credit Facility.
The court made the order yesterday when it sat to make a ruling on an application the defence made earlier to have Mwanamvekha discharged on the basis that the State failed to serve the defence with disclosures. But it transpired that the State served the defence with disclosures on Tuesday.
The defence yesterday applied to have the charge sheet amended after it noted some gaps in the disclosures, especially the charge sheet which did not indicate names of officers influenced by the suspects and the dates of the alleged act.
Mwanamvekha’s lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale also told the court that no State witness indicated dealing with Mwanamvekha in the statements that the defence was served with.
On its part, the State said it would need more time to respond since the application was made the same day and it prayed for an adjournment.
Chief resident magistrate Madalitso Chimwaza concurred with defence, saying the charge sheet needed to have specific details.
She stressed the need to indicate names of officers that were influenced, dates and place on the charge sheet, saying such particulars will help the accused prepare for the case and defence to prove the case.
Chimwaza, therefore, denied the State’s prayer for an adjournment to respond to the application.
“There could be no better time to amend the charge sheet than now when trial has not commenced. There is need to include time, dates, people and place,” she said.
Chimwaza ordered the State to amend the charge sheet within 14 days.
The suspects will have to take a fresh plea on the amended chargesheet.
Speaking in an interview, Kaphale said the ruling will also benefit the other suspects despite that it was an application by Mwanamvekha.
During the court sitting, Kaphale also made an application to have the State to release travel documents to Mwanamveka so that he can travel to South Africa for business.
However, the court did not make a ruling on the application.
Kaphale said defence will engage the Director of Public Prosecution on the issue.
Mwanamvekha and others are accused of giving wrong information to the IMF in 2019 and their conduct led the IMF to cancel the $108 million ECF.