2 PSs spared jail, convictions in Tractorgate set aside: To respond to claims

A conviction against two principal secretaries (PSs) has been rescinded by the High Court  in Lilongwe following an application by their lawyer Chancy Gondwe to set aside proceedings  for procedural irregularities.

Lawyer Chancy Gondwe (left) briefs Chiunda and Phir

PS for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Grey Nyandule Phiri and Secretary to the Treasury Cliff Chiunda were found guilty for disrespecting a Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal order in relation to the procurement and disposal of farm equipment bought with a $50 million (about K37 billion) loan from India in 2011.

High Court  judge Charles Mkandawire convicted the two senior public officers  but spared them a prison sentence after their lawyer asked the court for stay pending hearing of their side  before  sentencing them to prison, made to pay a fine or given a suspended sentence depending on the mitigating factors.

Justice Mkandawire said on Wednesday in his determination that  “in line with the spirit of doing substantial justice” the two PSs will be given an opportunity to be heard before making a fresh determination.

He said “hurried justice can., at times, lead to denied justice.”

The case followed 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”.

While Nyandule-Phiri published a public apology once on July 12 2019 “for buying equipment that was archaic and sitting idle and deteriorating, thus unnecessarily indebting Malawians and for the illegal selling of the tractors”, Chiunda did not.

The farm equipment was purchased using part of the $50 million line of credit from Export-Import Bank of India with the intention to mechanise agriculture in the country.

The farm machinery in question included 100 tractors and 144 maize shellers. In total, 177 tractors were bought for distribution to agriculture development divisions (ADDs) to enable poor smallholder farmers graduate to mechanisation by hiring the equipment. However, only 77 tractors were distributed to ADDs while 100 were sold.

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George Victor
1 year ago

Jesus is alive…Cliff and his wife are prayer warriors…the Lord has answered our prayers.Ndi anthu mulungu amenewa…Mulungu waamenyera nkhondo on top of that anthu awa they are good Samaritans amasamala ndikusunga miyoyo ya athu ambiri…Zikomo Yesu,,,

POOR MAN FEEL IT
1 year ago

koma oba nkhuku 10 years kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

TOSH
1 year ago

AVEKEDWE DZINGWE AMENEWO CHILIMA AMATIPHUNZITSA KUTI WAKUBA SITIMUSEKELERA, KENAKANSO AKAMUTENGE PITALA ANAWO SAMABA OKHA

Njolo mpilu
Njolo mpilu
1 year ago

spared jail, sanalakwe ndiye? nanga 112 ma tractor ali kutiko. JB , uko ku kasungu uko bwa

Gen
Gen
1 year ago

Malawians are watching as Judges in this case. Tread carefully our courts. We do not want poor people to be imprisoned and you always say I want people like you to learn while those employed in government as public servants are let free if the commit an offence. LET JUSTICE PREVAIL

Graham Zali
Graham Zali
1 year ago

Akalowe basi

james
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Zali

amangidwe cifukwa ciyani kumalawi kuli munthu womangidwa wakuba ndalama mangangi pitala ndi nduna nzake zonse wosayiwala mfana chaponda

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