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Corruption in the judiciary, Chief magistrate Kadwa convicted

The Blantyre Magistrates Court on convicted its former boss, Chief Resident Magistrate David Kadwa, on three counts of corruption committed in 2005.

The first count was on corrupt practices by a public officer for soliciting a K500,000 as an inducement to take over a case from a fellow magistrate with the intention to acquit the accused.

The second one was on corrupt practices by a public officer for accepting a K150,000 as a reward for influencing a court decision in a matter handled by another magistrate.

The third count was on abuse of office as he directed an account assistant to issue a K1 million cheque as bail refund before the matter was concluded.

When the case came before Chief Resident Nyakwawa Usiwasiwa for judgment in the morning, Kadwa's lawyer, Justin Dzonzi, told the court that his client could not attend the proceedings because of the current fuel shortage.

He, therefore, asked the court to either adjourn the matter or take the court to his client's house, also considering that Kadwa has mobility problems.

Dzonzi's request did not go down well with Usiwausiwa who was "forced to make a painful but rather appropriate decision". He immediately revoked Kadwa's bail, effectively issuing a warrant of arrest which compelled Kadwa to appear before the court in the afternoon.

In the afternoon, the court converged on the first floor, instead of the third floor of the new court building, to allow Kadwa, who was using a clutch, access the court room easily.

Delivering his judgement, Usiwausiwa said facts presented in the court by the state against Kadwa were not in dispute according to submission made to the court as Kadwa himself admitted to them.

He, therefore, convicted him of all the charges, pending sentencing.

The court will pass its sentence on Kadwa on Monday.

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