Magistrate Benedicto Chitsakamile of Zomba has come under intense fire and grilling following his decision to cancel midnight a warrant of arrest for Thomson Mpinganjira group chief executive officer of FDH Financial Holdings Limited and board chairperson of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) midnight though he did not issue it himself.
Law expert at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi, Garton Kamchezera described the decision to cancel the warrant of arrest as a sign that some people have no regard for the law.
“The fact that this has happened it shows how rotten we are as a nation,” said Kamchezera.
The law professor said it was irregular for another court to quash the warrant of arrest in another geographical area which he said breaches the supreme laws of the land citing Section 96 (3).
Malawi Law Society president Burton Mhango also said the organization was equally surprised with the move to quash the warrant of arrest issued by another court in another geographical area.
Meanwhile, Registrar of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal and High Court, Agness Patemba has said the application by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Reyneck Matemba, for a stay order to to quash the lower court’s order has been out on pending as the file on which the order to release Mpinganjira from custody is being recalled from Zomba.
Patemba said the court advised Matemba to wait until the High Court review of the order.
The Judiciary spokesperson said in an interview that the Zomba magistrate Benedicto Chitsakamile erred in law to issue the order.
“The court order has some irregularities. This is why we have asked for the file. The High Court has powers to quash the order,” said Patemba.
Mpinganjira was released midnight from the Blantyre police station after Chitsakamile issued the order to cancel the warrant of arrest issued by another court.
Patemba said she was not sure if the magistrate issued order to cancel the warrant of arrest under the influence of corruption or it was a genuine mistake.
The ACB will have to wait until a judge will be identified to review the file and then provide direction on the way forward.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :