APM Says “Dismayed” By Alleged Attempts To Bribe ConCourt Judges
President Peter Mutharika is, reportedly, ‘dismayed’ by allegations that some people were making attempts to bribe five constitutional court judges with intention to have them sway verdict in a particular direction in the presidential election case underway.
In a statement signed for by Samuel Batson Tembenu on behalf of the legal team representing Mutharika in the matter, the lawyers say have “closely followed the recent events regarding the allegations…”.
In the statement, Tembenu says Mutharika has condemned “any alleged efforts and attempts by any of the parties” to influence the rightful outcomes of the process.
“Our client, as the custodian of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, strongly believes that the judiciary must be allowed to decide cases without pressure, inducements or any extraneous factors.
“He further believes that the court must decide the case purely based on the facts properly adduced before it and the applicable laws,” reads part of the statement.
The lawyers say Mutharika continues to have faith in the independence and integrity of the judiciary and hopes that this is not compromised in any case before it.
Speaking to Zodiak Online later, one of Mutharika’s lawyers on this case, Frank Mbeta authenticated the statement saying this was at the instruction of Mutharika.
“The whole nation is aware of developments that have arisen over the past few weeks in relation to allegations that certain people are suspected to have offered bribes to our judges who are sitting as a constitutional court on the election case.
“…Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika found it necessary that we issue a statement regarding his position on such allegations. (He) is actually dismayed that there are these allegations or that there are some people that are alleged to have attempted to bribe the constitutional court judges,” said Mbeta to Zodiak Online.
Reacting to the statement, private practice lawyer told Zodiak Online that the statement by Mutharika attempts to brush-off ‘temptation’ to link the allegations to the quest, by the president, for justice in the constitutional courts.
“We all know who rushed to Blantyre police station when Dr. Mpinganjira was arrested. We know who represented Dr. Mpinganjira in the hunt for an order for his release.
“It is, therefore, tempting to link what is in the public domain to Professor Mutharika without evidence. That is probably what he is trying to achieve. He is like saying ‘whatever you think know is happening, I am not involved’,” he said.
All parties to the presidential case, except the Malawi Electoral Commission-MEC, have commented on events leading to and after the arrest of FDH Holdings Group chairperson Dr. Thomson Mpinganjira who, the Anti-Corruption Bureau-ACB-arrested days ago in connection with the alleged attempts to bribe the five judges.
Dr. Mpinganjira has ever been linked to Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party-DPP and an alleged leadership succession plans but he has publicly disassociated himself from this saying he was focused on growing his banking sector business.
The complaint to ACB against Dr. Mpinganjira and (another yet to be named “civil servant in the judiciary”) was reported to ACB by the five judges through Chief Justice, Andrew Nyirenda. The issues date as far back as November 28, 2019, according to ACB Director General, Reyneck Matemba.