The Chief Resident Magistrate Court in Lilongwe has set May 19, 2023 as the date the criminal case involving Vice-President Saulos Chilima will come before the court for direction, almost five months after he was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
ACB principal public relations officer, Egrita Ndala, and one of Chilima’s lawyers George Mtchuka Mwale have both confirmed in separate interviews that the court had set the date.
Chilima’s lawyer went furth explaining that the date “is for mention”, explaining it to indicate that it is the preparatory stage of the main trial.
“During mention, the parties together with the court will agree on when trial of the case should resume”, he said.
ACB arrested Chilima, who is also UTM Party president, in November last year and slapped him with six counts of corruption for allegedly receiving about K290 million bribe from business tycoon Zuneth Sattar to secure contracts in public institutions.
Chilima was charged with three counts of corrupt practices by a public officer contrary to Section 24(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act; two counts of receiving advantage for using influence in regard to contracts contrary to Section 29 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
The sixth count is failing to make a full report to a police officer or an officer of the ACB that an advantage had been corruptly given contrary to Section 36 (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.