Former Mines Minister Maxwell Mwale and his deputy Boniface Nkhata have been acquitted by Lusaka High Court on abuse of authority of office charges.

Mwale and Nkhata had appealed against their conviction and sentence of two years imprisonment with hard labour by the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court in 2015.

This was in relation to the issuance of a mining licence to a Chinese firm, Zhongui International Mining Limited where the duo were alleged to have given the license without following procedure.

In his judgement, High Court judge Mubanga Kondolo said the duo did not abuse their power as the mining license was given by a team of people constituted at the ministry.

Justice Kondolo says it is not possible for Mwale as an individual to influence every one to favour one firm.

He said the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.