The Magistrate Court Ntcheu has set 6 January 2023 for the start of the hearing of the case in which Shavison Chibayo, 34 and wife Karishima Machewere, 29, who were busted by Castel Malawi and Police for producing the ‘fake’ Malawi Gin.
The development comes following The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) giving consent to two private lawyers to prosecute the young couple accused of producing counterfeit Malawi Gin.
Before his suspension, DPP Steve Kayuni gave consent to private practice lawyers Davis Njobvu and Noel Misanjo of a Blantyre based law firm DNC Chambers to prosecute the two.
Misanjo told the Ntcheu Magistrate Court during the start of the hearing of the case of the consent by the DPP before asking for an adjournment of the case.
“We have consent from the DPP to prosecute the case but we would like to seek adjournment of the matter because the accused persons have approached us that they would like to get legal representation.
"He added the police are also left with one witness to record a statement which they will do in the next seven days,” Misanjo said.
Another issue that was raised for the adjournment was that they were waiting for the results of the samples of the ‘fake’ Malawi Gin which were sent to the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (Mubas) for tests which they had just received and would want to share with the defence lawyers once they have been identified.
Wife to the accused, Machewere told the court that they have identified a lawyer from Lilongwe to represent them but was not in court and would need more time for the lawyer to study the case.
Magistrate Joshua Nkhono advised the accused persons to make sure that their lawyer files a notice with the court and gets all the necessary documents ready for trial.
Castel Malawi officials assisted by Police officers from Ntcheu Police Station busted the production of the counterfeit Malawi Gin about three weeks ago after receiving reports that some people were producing ‘fake gin’ packaged in Malawi Gin branded bottles.
Castel Malawi announced on 7 October 2022 that it had stopped production of its spirits line namely Malawi Gin, Malawi Vodka and Premier Brandy due to the scarcity of packaging materials which require forex to access.
Castel Malawi Head of Marketing, Frank Binauli said they are investigating similar cases and warned the perpetrators to stop the vice before the long arm of the law catches up with them.