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Buluma Summoned To Appear Before Court

The Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court in Lilongwe has summoned National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) deputy chief executive officer (CEO) Helen Buluma to appear before the court without fail and testify from January 17 to January 20 2023 in the fuel deals case.

According to a copy of the summons dated November 3 2022, Judge Patrick Chirwa states: “You are hereby summoned to attend court before the Chief Resident Magistrate Court to testify on what you know concerning the complaint on the 17th-20th January 2023 at 9 o’clock in the forenoon from day to day until the trial be concluded and herein fail not.”

The summons follow a complaint by the defense team who on July 7 2022 wrote the magistrate arguing that Buluma was displaying traits of a malingering witness, after she sought for an adjournment saying she was ill, but according to the defense, Buluma attended a government function the same day.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Martha Chizuma however on July 13 2022 wrote the presiding magistrate to clarify on the allegations.

In the letter, Chizuma said Buluma had informed the bureau that she had scheduled medical consultations and follow-up engagements which required the deputy CEO to slow down on stress-related work for at least three months.

The bureau sought adjournments twice for hearings set between June 27 to 29 2022 and July 11 to 15 2022.

Buluma is the key witness in the case in which former minister of Energy Newton Kambala and two others are accused of attempting to influence a public officer in the procurement of fuel contrary to the Corrupt Practices Act.

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