Noose tightens on FDH bank owner over judge-shopping allegations


Judicial Service Commission has interdicted the magistrate who released FDH Bank owner Thom Mpinganjira from a police station.

Magistrate Benny Chitsakamile has been told to stop working pending a disciplinary hearing by the Judicial Service Commission.

On January 22, the ACB in Blantyre arrested Mpinganjira in connection to allegations of attempts to bribe five Constitutional Court judges presiding over the Presidential Elections Case.

Mpinganjira was taken to Blantyre Police Station to spend the night but was released at midnight after Chitsakamile, a magistrate based in Zomba, cancelled the warrant of arrest which the ACB had obtained.

A few days later, Justice Nyakaunda Kamanga of the High Court restored the warrant of arrest saying the warrant was quashed in a kangaroo court by a magistrate who was surprisingly awake and ready to work at midnight.

She also noted that Mpinganjira’s lawyer did not appear before the Magistrate and he acted on his own motion.

Kamanga faulted Chitsakamile for working on a file that was not assigned to him and wondered how the case file ended up in the magistrate’s hands.

After ordering that the warrant be restored, Kamanga ruled that Chitsakamile should be disciplined by the Judicial Service Committee.

Mpinganjira was re-arrested after the restoration of the warrant and was later granted bail by a court in Blantyre.