Justice Chifundo Kachale of the High Court in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, has jailed a former minister five years for the abuse of his office.
Uladi Mussa, who served as Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security during the two-year tenure of president Joyce Banda between April 2012 and May 2014, was convicted alongside former senior immigration officer David Kwanjana for aiding foreign nationals to enter into the country illegally.
Mussa had been arrested for his role in aiding foreign nationals fraudulently acquire a Malawian passport and citizenship.
Three former immigration officers who were charged alongside Mussa have also been handed prison sentences of between three and six years.
Justice Chifundo Kachale, who is also Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson, presided over the case and found Mussa and others guilty and convicted them, passed the sentence on Thursday afternoon.
Mussa, 55, was found guilty of abuse of public office, neglect of duty and altering false documents alongside former regional immigration officer David Kwanjana.
Two other people, who were co-accused in the case, were acquitted.
Mussa is a former MP who had served in various cabinet portfolios under four different presidents.
Soon after today’s ruling heavily armed police officers warded off journalists who were attempting to seek the ex-minister’s reaction before he was taken to prison, but his lawyer Paul Maulidi said he would appeal against both the conviction and the sentence.
In July last year, the US Government imposed a travel ban against the arrested former minister citing what they termed “credible information connecting Mussa to corruption”.
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