The High Court in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, has handed an influential former cabinet minister, Uladi Mussa, a five-year sentence for the abuse of his office.
Mussa had been arrested for his role in aiding foreign nationals fraudulently acquire a Malawian passport and citizenship when he served as home affairs minister under former President Joyce Banda.
Three former immigration officers who were charged alongside Mussa have also been handed prison sentences of between three and six years.
Mussa is a former MP who had served in various cabinet portfolios under four different presidents.
Soon after today’s ruling heavily armed police officers warded off journalists who were attempting to seek the ex-minister’s reaction before he was taken to prison, but his lawyer Paul Maulidi said he would appeal against both the conviction and the sentence.
In July last year, the US Government imposed a travel ban against the arrested former minister citing what they termed “credible information connecting Mussa to corruption”.