The High Court in Lilongwe has this morning suspended to 19 August, 2019 sentencing of two principal secretaries Grey Nyandule Phiri and Cliff Chiunda.
The two were last week found guilty of contempt of court for disrespecting a court order in connection to the procurement and disposal of farm equipment bought using $50 million (about K37 billion) of borrowed funds.
Meanwhile, lawyer for the two, Chauncy Gondwe, has applied before the court to have the contempt case be heard again, saying the ruling was made in absence of the convicts.
The case follows the Ombudsman’s application in the wake of a Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal ruling of February 11 2019 for the two public officers to issue a public “apology for buying equipment that was archaic and sitting idle and deteriorating, thus, unnecessarily indebting Malawians and for the illegal selling of the tractors”.
Besides the demand for a public apology, in her 48-page report titled The Present Toiling, The Future Overburdened, the Ombudsman also recommended prosecution of the members of the internal procurement committee (IPC) and “those who presided over the sale of the farm machinery and benefited from the sale should be prosecuted in accordance with the Procurement Act”.