Former Malawi cabinet minister convicted in corruption case

Map of Malawi
Map of Malawi

The high court in Malawi Tuesday convicted former cabinet minister, Uladi Basikolo Mussa, of a corruption case in which he fraudulently aided foreigners to access Malawi passports and citizenship.

According to court documents, Mussa committed the crime in 2013 when he was serving as Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security during Joyce Banda’s regime.

The crime was reported to the country’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in 2015 and in March 2017 the Bureau arrested Mussa alongside senior immigration officer, David Kwanjana, on charges of neglect of official duty and abuse of public office.

The court also arrested two males, a Rwandese and a Burundi for obtaining a Malawian passport fraudulently, contrary to the laws of the country.

The former cabinet minister and the immigration officer were found with cases to answer in October 2019 and on Tuesday they were found guilty while the two foreign nationals, Pascal Rwasa from Burundi, and Esili Kubwimana, a Rwandese, were acquitted.

The court has reserved sentencing for the former minister and immigration officer for October 22.

Mussa, a staunch politician since the inception of Malawi democracy in 1994, has served in various cabinet portfolios in the country’s various regimes and he was elected by immediate past President Peter Mutharika as Special Presidential Advisor on Parliamentary Affairs.

Mussa was also central regional Vice President for Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which, until June 23, was the ruling party.

Political analysts have described Mussa’s conviction as “the end of his long political career” adding that “it will be very hard for him to bounce back”.