By Rick Dzida

Malawians have witnessed a number of arrests for the past few months. Unfortunately, most of the cases have not been expeditiously concluded. But why? What is the motive of these arrests?

Examples of such cases are numerous:

The first in my mind is Paul Mphwiyo’s case. On 31 August 2021 , Paul Mphwiyo and 18 others who are answering MK2.4 billion cashgate case had the audacity to apply to court for suspension of their case. It still remains a mystery why this case has not yet been concluded over four years now since its commencement.

Another case involves Norman Chisale. We still wonder why the court is now silent over his cases. Firstly, Norman Chisale is being accused of using Pythias Hiwa’s certificate to secure MDF job in 1996.

Secondly, he is also being suspected of taking part in the murder of Issa Njauju. The dead silence from these cases is astoundingly queer.

About Dalitso Kabambe’s case, we don’t know its status either. In fact, Dalitso was charged with abuse of office, neglect of office and money laundering. It appears that once a person is granted bail, that is the end of it.

A very good case of injustice by our Police service is that of Steven Maseya, a staunch DPP sympathiser. Steven was arrested on allegation that he shared false Malawi School Certificate of Education examination papers. He was later released without charges for lack of substantial evidence.

As if the aforementioned cases are not enough, in April 2021, sixty four people were arrested in connection with misuse and abuse of public funds meant to fight COVID 19 pandemic. As of now, no suspect has been convicted in relation to these allegations. It appears the arrest was enough.

The hearing of Ralph Kasambara’s appeal case slated for 4 November 2021 failed to take place due to other logistical problems. Ralph is appealing against his conviction based on two premises.

First, he argues that it was contradictory to acquit him on attempted murder charges at the same time he was convicted of conspiracy to murder but using the same evidence.

Second, he contends that the use of call logs as evidence to convict a suspect was weak. However, it is over three years now since the convict has been on bail.

And then there is a case of Newton Kambala and others who are accused of abuse of public office regarding oil contract deals with National Oil company of Malawi. Though on bail, two suspects have been seen loitering in Zambia and Dubai. Their cases are stalled and not even concluded yet.

Now we hear that Joseph Mwanaamveka and Dalitso Kabambe have been arrested on suspicion they commited an offence of abuse of office contrary to Section 95(1) of the penal code by providing false information to the International Monetary Fund.

Another latest arrest is that of Mr. Ben Phiri who is answering charges of procurement fraud and corruption suspected to have taken place at the Ministry of Gender between 2018 and 2020.

Much as it is necessary to arrest any suspect, Malawians are looking forward to the speedy conclusion of such cases. Justice delayed is justice denied.

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