‘Fraud alarm’ at judiciary, Judge Tembo implicated

The maxim “he who comes into equity must come with clean hands” may aptly be applied on the Malawi Judiciary whose judges are reportedly on ‘strike’ on account of unpaid allowances.

A letter authored by ‘Judiciary concerned employees’ contains damning revelations of fraudulent transactions by senior Judiciary staff members, including the High Court Judge and former Registrar, Justice Mike Tembo.

The letter, dated December 19, 2013, addressed to Malawi Fiscal Police and copied to the Office of the Registrar-High Court, the Chief Justice and the Chief Courts Administrator, whose copy Nyasa Times has seen, implicates Evans Lora, the Chief Human Resources Management Officer of the Malawi Judiciary, a Mr. P.D Mlauzi Deputy Sherriff of the High Court of Malawi and High Court Judge,  Justice Michael Mike Tembo as having been involved in suspicious and fraudulent transactions.

Malawi judges

Malawi judges

The letter says while Lora and the Deputy Sherriff have been in the forefront reporting others to fiscal police for suspected fraudulent acts and pressing for their arrests, they have themselves been at the centre of same crime.

“It is disheartening to learn that Mr. Lora himself embezzled money in February 2011 through an office loan where he instructed the accounts personnel not to effect deductions on his salary,” reads the letter in part, adding that the Chief Human Resources Management Officer of the Malawi Judiciary used this money “together with another sum of money, which he got as arrears in the same year to buy a Minibus Vanette online”.

According to a copy of High Court Payment Voucher attached to the letter, Lora drew the money from the High Court National Bank Account No. 561363 using cheque number 020311.

The payment was authorized by C. Mtonga, Principal Accontant and L.M. Kapanga, Chief Human Resources Management Officer for the High Court.

The money was expected to be recovered with effect from March 2012 with a total interest of K78,888.88.

The ‘Concerned Judiciary employees’ allege that when Lora “got wind” of some people being poised to reveal his malpractice to fiscal police, he issued an FMB cheque number 0005108298003 amounting to K100,000 to the loans office on December 10, 2013  as part payment of the K400,000 loan.

“He further pledged to make similar monthly payments until the K400,000 is fully repaid,” reads the letter.

The concerned employees request the Fiscal Police to investigate Lora and should his conduct be deemed fraudulent, he be prosecuted outright.

The letter draws parallels between Lora’s alleged malpractice and “suspicious bank transactions by some judiciary employees, which culminated into their subsequent arrest,” emphasizing “no-one is above the law”.

“Also take note that we’ll be furnishing your office with other incriminating details where Mr. Mlauzi abused the Sherriff account in collaboration with Justice Mike Tembo where when Mr. Tembo was Registrar. They connived to siphon more than 20 million in one bank transaction and the money was shared in Lilongwe.

“We also understand Mr. Mlauzi is now using the money to build a mansion in Green Corner Mpemba. He is currently in China on holiday to purchase building materials for the same house. Ndalama zake ziti, K281, 000.00 net pay (He only gets a K281,000.00 monthly salary)

“Please find enclosed copy of Mr. Lora’s cheque and a copy of voucher for the K400,000.00 unpaid loan. We are eagerly waiting for your swift response to our plea,” concludes the letter.

A senior officer at fiscal police confirmed the letter was “in the in-tray” and said investigations were at an advanced stage.

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