Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has ordered attempted bribery convict Thom Mpinganjira to dispose his shares in FDH bank.
However, Mpinganjira who is represented by lawyers Khumbo Soko and Hilda Soko, has obtained a stay order against the ruling.
Mpinganjira was last year sent to prison for nine years for attempting to bribe judges presiding over the 2019 presidential elections. He is currently out of prison after being granted bail pending appeal earlier this year.
RBM ruled that Mpinganjira should dispose of his shares in FDH Bank due to his conviction.
But Mpinganjira together with Financial Services Appeals Committee together with Peter Frank Mpinganjira, Nathan Mpinganjira, William Mpinganjira, Annabel Chikondi Mpinganjira and M Development Limited appealed against the decision.
They filed their appeal to Financial Services Appeals Committee, an arm of the Ministry of Finance that handles financial grievances.
The appeallants, among others, argued that the Central Bank RBM did not provide legally justifiable reasons for M Development Limited to dispose of its shares in FDH, saying RBM treated Thomson Mpinganjira and M Development Limited as one person.
However, the committee which included Retired Justice Isaac Mtambo said Thomson Mpinganjira was the sole controlling shareholder in M Development Limited and that M Development Limited was also a controlling shareholder in FDH.
Mtambo noted that while Mpinganjira left M Development Limited, he was not replaced despite RBM asking him repeatedly to do find a replacement.
“While we accept that [Thomson Mpinganjira and M Development Limited] are separate and distinct entities in law, we wonder how to separate them on the facts before us which clearly that [M Development Limited] would in practice and reality be non-existent without [Thomson Mpinganjira]” Mtambo said.
The committee then ordered ordered that FDH should have fit and proper controlling shareholder(s).
However, Mpinganjira will not be required to dispose his shares at the moment due to the stay order obtained by his lawyers.