Anti-Corruption Bureau wants Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda out of George Kainja’s case

In a twist of events, the Anti-Corruption Bureau which has been dragged to court by a former Inspector General of Police it arrested now wants the judge presiding over the matter off the case. The Anti-Corruption Bureau has asked High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda to recuse himself from a case in which former Inspector General of Police George Kainja is…

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has asked High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda to recuse himself from a case in which former Inspector General of Police George Kainja is challenging his arrest by the bureau on corruption allegations.

The case came before Justice Nyirenda in chambers yesterday where ACB’s Director of Legal Services and Prosecution Chrispin Khunga notified the court that the bureau had preliminary objections.

ACB arrested Kainja in June this year on allegations of corrupt dealings in a police food rations contract awarded to Zuneth Sattar’s firm.

The arrest came after ACB had presented its report to President Lazarus Chakwera in which it listed a number of both public and private officials as being involved in corrupt deals in connection with Sattar.

In an interview, Khunga confirmed that the bureau has reservations against having Nyirenda hear the matter, but refused to divulge details of the objections to the cause.

“Arguing of the main matter has not yet begun until the court decides upon the issues that we have brought before it. Basically, we are saying we cannot proceed before the court until what we are raising has been decided,” he said.

Khunga said the bureau had filed a notice to seek preliminary objections to the proceedings.

“We told the court that we have objections to the matter. We presented our issues and so did the other party.

The court is of the view that it should look at the papers first before it makes its ruling, hence the adjournment,” he said.

The bureau is also challenging the inclusion of Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and Attorney General (AG) to the case, arguing the two do not add any value to it.

Kainja’s lawyer Gift Nankhuni refused to comment but told the court that the ACB had wrongly filed its documents.

Counsel Neverson Chisiza from AG’s office also refused to comment.

An advocate from the DPP’s office expressed surprise with the ACB’s move.

“First defendant made a preliminary objection for the Honourable Judge to recuse himself, the particulars of which we are not familiar with since the Second Defendant was never served with the objection. It’s a strange or odd practice but it’s court discretion on decision,” Festas Sakanda, lawyer from the office of the DPP, said.

In his initial application for judicial review, Kainja through Nankhuni contends that his arrest was not sanctioned by the AG as required by law.

He further challenges the legality of his arrest based on information obtained from a foreign agency, Britain’s National Crime Agency.

ACB arrested Kainja on June 23, 2022 on suspicion that he received an advantage from Sattar on account of influencing a procurement contract reference number MPS/SB/16/04/2021 to supply 350,000 food ration packs.

The packs, according to the ACB, were worth about $7.9 million.

The investigations conducted by the bureau established that Kainja solicited an advantage in form of a vehicle and $8,000 from the Malawian born British businessman for influencing the award of the contract to supply the food ration packs.

The revelations which were detailed in a report which was submitted to President Lazarus Chakwera in May, 2022 led to Kainja’s immediate firing by the Head of State.

He was later granted a court bail.

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