Former president Bakili Muluzi’s MK1.7 billion corruption case is still stuck in courts for over 12 years now.
During this period, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has been experiencing challenges to conclude the matter despite tangible evidence presented by its prosecuting team in court that the former president has a case to answer regarding the money that was a donation from Libya but allegedly ended up in Muluzi’s personal account.
In all the three regimes of Bingu Wa Mutharika, Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika, the case has taken a snail’s pace.
In February this year, the court ruled against Muluzi and his defence team argued that as former president, he cannot stand trial for things he did in his capacity as head of state.
But according to the constitutional court like all public servants, Muluzi must account for his wealth.
Since 2006, technicalities have held back the prevailing of justice on the matter in court.
However, political commentators believe politics may be at play, though nothing apparent indicates Muluzi’s successors interfered with the courts.
They say the long period that continue to be taken to conclude the case indicate how politics has crept in.
Chancellor College Political Scientist Happy Kayuni says in developing countries such as Malawi, there are many reasons that may influence political decisions.
Kayuni cites the working relationship between the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as one reason that can influence the delay in concluding the case.
He says the appointment of UDF president Atupele Muluzi as Minister of Health, could be a ploy by the government to foil the case while they win the yellow party’s supporters in the South-Eastern region of the country.
But UDF spokesperson Ken Ndanga dismisses this conspiracy theory that portrays Muluzi as a grandmaster in a game of chess where his son is being used as a pawn.
He reckons the UDF founder is not benefitting in any way from the party’s dealings with the DPP.
The Constitutional Court in Blantyre upheld the validity of some sections of the Corrupt Practices Act which obliges Muluzi and all public servants to account for their wealth.
Meanwhile, Malawians are still holding their breath as they wait to find out whether the self acclaimed ‘political engineer’, who ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004, is innocent or guilty.