By Duncan Mlanjira
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has cautioned former Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Uladi Mussa from commenting on his criminal case that is currently in court as that would be tantamount to interfering with the court processes.
A statement from the ACB signed by Director General Reyneck Matemba, notes that Mussa was a guest in ‘Tiuzeni Zoona’ programme aired on Zodiak Broadicasting Station on Sunday, November 3, 2019 and upon being asked about the criminal case where he is being prosecuted by the ACB, he took time to insult officers of the ACB and discredited its competence for arresting and prosecuting him when he is “innocent”.
Last week, the High Court in Lilongwe found Mussa and four other foreigners David H. Kwanjana, Pascal Rwasa, Peter Katasha and Esili Kubwimana with case to answer on all the charges that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) filed to do with suspected dubious and erroneous awarding of Malawian passports to the foreigners.
“We wish to remind Mr. Mussa that employees of the ACB are public officers who, despite facing a number operational and other challenges, strive to be professional in discharging their duties,” says the statement.
“By investigating, arresting and now prosecuting Mr. Mussa, officers of the ACB have nothing personal against Mr. Mussa other than fulfilling their law enforcement mandate as provided for under the Corrupt Practices Act.
“Much as we accept that Mr. Mussa has the right to express himself and indeed to hold an opinion on any matter, we wish to caution Mr. Mussa to desist from commenting on the criminal case that is currently in court as that would be tantamount to interfering with the court processes.
“We wish to further inform Mr. Mussa that the ACB will not be intimidated or influenced by his media outbursts or utterances.
“On the contrary, the ACB will ensure that the case in which Mr. Mussa and four other accused persons are answering charges of corruption, is prosecuted to its logical conclusion.
“As a person who has previously held various Cabinet portfolios, the least the Bureau can expect from Mr. Mussa is to resort to intimidatory tactics to instill fear and panic in ACB officers for simply doing their work.
“That is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any cost,” says the statement.
The former cabinet minister is then advised that instead of attacking the ACB and its officers, he should concentrate and start preparing for his defence as the case comes to court again on November 25, 2019.
“Defending himself in the media is pointless and a total waste of his time and energy. Let us resist, reject and report corruption to the Anti-Corruption Bureau.”
The case is that on 25th September, 2015, the ACB received a complaint alleging that on 14th May, 2014, the Chief Immigration Officer granted Malawi Citizenship to Rwandan nationals using a file belonging to another foreign national.
The ACB instituted investigations and established that citizenships were granted to people who were not eligible and on On 28th February, 2017, the ACB arrested Katasha (a Malawian national) for presenting false information that he was related to some foreign nationals, who were applying for Malawi citizenship.
He was charged with uttering a false document contrary to Section 121 as read with Section 360 of the Penal Code while on 6th March, 2017 the ACB arrested Mussa and Kwanjana, (former Senior Assistant Chief Immigrations Officer) now Regional Immigration Officer Center.
Pascal Rwasa, a Burundian national, was arrested on 9th March, 2017, for presenting false information that he was related to another foreign national, who was applying for Malawi citizenship by presenting the person as his dependent when the person was over 18 years old and not related to him.
On 13th March, 2017, the ACB arrested Kubwimana, a Rwandese national, for giving false information to Immigration Officers when making applications for business resident permit and Malawi citizenship contrary to Section 122 as read with Section 360 of Penal Code.
After several hearings, the High Court in Lilongwe found all with case to answer on all the charges on 21st October, 2019 to appear in court from November 25.