The Lilongwe Principal Resident Magistrates Court has granted bail to Democratic Progressive Party Member of Parliament for Nhata Bay Central Symon Vuwa Kaunda.
Vuwa Kaunda, earlier today appeared in court to be formally charged following his arrest yesterday by the Anti-Corruption Bureau-ACB, in connection to a land scam.
He is suspected of being involved in the illegal sale of land belonging to the Department of Forestry while he was serving as minister of Lands.
Lawyer for Vuwa Kaunda asked the Principal Resident Magistrate Court to grant him bail as the State awaits consent from Director of Public Prosecution to proceed with the case.
The former lands minister has been charged with two counts, with the first one being his involvement in a corrupt practice with a private individual.
The court heard that in January this year, the accused offered K50,000 to Bobby Kabango, a journalist at Nation Publicans Limited, to induce him from publishing a story that he was investigating on the illegal sale of land.
The second count is of abuse of office as a minister, where he is accused of reducing developmental lease of land in Kanjedza Forest Reserve.
After hearing the defense team’s arguments in the bail application, Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba granted bail.
As conditions for the bail, Vuwa Kaunda has been ordered to produce cash bond of K500,000, report to ACB every fortnight, surrender travel documents and produce a non cash surety of K500,000.
The State, is however yet to get consent from the Office of DPP to proceed with the case and Vuwa Kaunda has also not taken plea.
Meanwhile, Principal Resident Magistrate Nyimba has adjourned the case to 6 January 2021.