The convicted principal secretary (PS) to Treasury, Cliff Chiunda, risks another contempt of court is he fails to facilitate payments to suppliers after a High Court decree.
Chiunda was slapped with a 24-months suspended sentence by the High Court on March 6 for contempt of court.
He was found guilty of defying an order by the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal to make a public apology for a faulty procurement and disposal of 100 tractors and 144 maize shellers–a deal popularly known as Tractorgate.
The equipment was bought in 2011 with a $50 million (about K37 billion) loan from Exim Bank of India.
However, Chiunda is facing another problem of challenging the authority of the Judiciary, which is another arm of government, by not adhering to a court decree that Secretary to Treasury should effect payment to suppliers by May 27 2020.
Chiunda, who has been relocated to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) where is deputy chief secretary to government, has left Treasury without processing the payment, which is in contempt of court and he would be a repeat offender.
One of the court Decree was made following a mediation settlement agreement made before Justice John Katsala.
Lawyer for the suppliers indicated that they would proceed with committal proceedings for contempt of court against Secretary to Treasury.
Chiunda, in his official position, will stand in contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison.
Though relocated, the court decree may haunt him to OPC and his successor will also be bound to the same existing decree.