By PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE
FORMER Mines minister Maxwell Mwale has been acquitted of a charge of abuse of authority in connection with the issuing of a mining licence.
Mr Mwale, who is former Malambo member of Parliament (MP) under the MMD regime, was sentenced to 12 months with hard labour by the Lusaka magistrates’ court but he appealed to the High Court against the judgment.
High Court Judge Mubanga Kondolo, however, yesterday overturned the subordinate court’s decision and set Mr Mwale free.
Mr Justice Kondolo held that Mr Mwale did not abuse his power because the licence was given by a committee that was constituted by the Ministry of Mines to approve licences.
He said that there was no way one person could have influenced everyone in the committee to favour one firm.
It was alleged that Mr Mwale gave a mining licence to Zhongi Mining Company without following laid-down procedure.
Mr Mwale’s lawyer Jonas Zimba said in an interview after the judgment that he was happy that justice has prevailed.
Mr Zimba from Makebi Zulu Advocates said his client had been vindicated of wrongdoing as the State failed to prove a case against his client.