2009-01-17 07:26:00 Govt has no plan to charge Warioba, says Justice minister By Vicent Mnyanyika THE CITIZEN The Government has no intention to arrest and prosecute the former Prime Minister and First Vice-President, Judge Joseph Warioba, Constitutional Affairs and Justice minister Mathias Chikawe has said. There have been widespread rumours that Judge Warioba would at anytime be arrested for graft charges linking him with Mwananchi Gold Company, a gold refinery which manufactures jewelry. Answering questions from reporters after he had convened a press conference to explain on the three-year success of his ministry, Mr Chikawe said his ministry had no idea on the widespread rumours. He said his office dealt with prosecution and not investigations on or arrests of suspects.He said the Government was neither aware nor had it sent anybody to threaten Mr Warioba that it was planning to arrest him in connection with embezzlement of funds at the Mwananchi Gold Company. "My ministry is more concerned with prosecution of cases, and not investigations nor arrest of suspects. These are functions of the police and PCCB; my ministry has no idea," he said. He added: "I have no reason to arrest Judge Warioba; my office is less concerned with the arrest and we have never sent people to threaten him." Early this week, Judge Warioba addressed a press conference to give his stand on the rumours. He said he was not afraid of being arrested, calling on the Government to hurry up and do so if there were such plans. Said he: "I am not afraid of arrest, in fact, if there are such arrangements they should hurry up. I am tired of the rumours as I have no peace of mind because many people and other well wishers keep on asking me about them and consoling me." Speaking on his ministry's success, Mr Chikawe said for the past three years, the Government has managed to speed up the prosecution process to reduce the piling up of cases and corruption in law courts. He said the program has involved the separation of the department of investigations and prosecution. Through this they have managed to reduce the piling up of high court cases. He added that that during the three years his ministry has managed to introduce the Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (Rita). It deals with the registration of births, deaths, weddings, divorces and oaths, he explained. Mr Chikawe said since its establishment in 2006 Rita has registered about 3.1 million births, 235,795 deaths, 58,295 weddings and 48 divorces. Also, considering family complaints, a special department has been established under Rita to deal with oaths in order to minimize them and family misunderstandings.