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Magalasi, three others plead not guilty

Former Chief Executive Officer for Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA), Collins Magalasi and three others, have pleaded not guilty to 16 charges levelled against them ranging from money laundering to fraud.

Magalasi, business lady Dorothy Shonga Nkhoma, MERA Procurement Officer Bright Mbewe and MERA Public Relations Officer Patrick Maulidi are believed to have mismanaged over 107 Million Kwacha.

The offenses are suspected to have occurred between August 2019 and July 2020 and the accused appeared before Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa in Lilongwe.

The charge sheet prepared by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) indicates that during the stated time, the four in their then capacity as Chief Executive Officer, Procurement Officer, Public Relations Officer to MERA and business lady, induced the Internal Procurement and Disposal Committee for MERA to approve procurement of various items whose total payment value was K 107, 032, 231.00.

The said deal was from Vink Enterprises owned by Dorothy Shonga Nkhoma who is a business partner to the Chief Executive Officer Collins Magalasi in D.C Brands Company, knowing the same to be an act that the internal procurement and disposal Committee was lawfully entitled to abstain from doing.

Within the 16 charges, Dorothy Shonga Nkhoma, also known in her social circled as Cash Madam, is further accused to have knowingly used falsified documents with intent to deceive.

Particulars of the offence are that on 5th July 2020 at Songwe Boarder in Karonga, Nkhoma knowingly used falsified information, namely use of TPIN Number 30928652 belonging to Vivian Nkhoma without Vivian Nkhoma’s knowledge, for clearance of 8000 metres of Cloth Material, being clearance of goods with the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) for business purposes of supplying the said 8000 metre cloth material to MERA,  so as to evade payment of domestic taxes of Value Added Tax (VAT) and Income Tax.

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DPP Steven Kayuni has since told the court that nine witnesses are expected to be paraded in the case.

“We will prepare disclosures to be submitted to defense but the witnesses depending on evaluation of the evidence that is before the state, the number of witnesses could be less than nine,” added Kayuni.

Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa has adjourned the matter for commencement of trial to 27 and 28 April.

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