Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Malawi: Billionaire Simbi Phiri faces allegations of bribing judges to influence election case ruling

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Billionaire Simbi Phiri has been named as one of the people who is at the centre of bribery attempts of the five Constitutional Court judges to influence the presidential elections case ruling.

Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda is said to have written the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate bribery attempts on the judges.

Inside sources at the ACB said among those who are at the centre of the investigation are the billionaire South African based Malawian business mogul Simbi Phiri, his son Ashan Simbi Phiri Jnr and former MCP legislator Rhino Chiphiko.

Simbi Phiri is heavily connected to the opposition MCP and is on the record of admitting that he has financially helped the party on several occasions.

“The information we have received is that Simbi Phiri senior is the one who provided the initial funds that were given to a certain Supreme Court Judge to give the judges. This was way back in November last year when the case was in progress,” said the source.

“The other information we are looking at is that Mr Ashan Simbi Jnr and Mr Rhino Chiphiko are the ones who were discussing with the Supreme Court Judge on the amounts to be given to the judges,” added the source.

The source denied to name the Supreme Court Judge saying the issue is sensitive and ‘we may require the same court to prosecute our cases so we need to be careful’.

ACB Director General Ryneck Matemba confirmed receiving the complaint from Chief Justice but declined to name the people involved in the bribery attempts.

“You may wish yo know that the ACB has received several complaints of this issue and these complaints are not connected to any political party or any of the parties to the presidential elections case but against specific individuals,” said Matemba.

Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda was not available for comment on the matter but a senior judge confirmed about the complaint to the ACB.

UTM president and immediate past Vice President Saulos Chilima and MCP President Lazarus Chakwera are contesting the results of the presidential elections in the Constitutional Court which is expected to make its ruling on the matter within 45 days after last hearing in December last year.

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