Court adjourns Sumbuleta sexual harassment case

The High Court in Blantyre has adjourned to a later date a case in which former Director-General of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Aubrey Sumbuleta is accused of sexual harassment.

The court was expected to deliver a ruling on the preliminary objections but failed as the defence lawyer is attending to a medical issue.

Sumbuleta through his lawyer David Kanyenda made an application to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court on the basis that the composition of the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) did not follow the 60:40 gender ratio when it was probing the accused.

According to the charge sheet, the six counts border on indecent assault and abuse of office.

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Sumbuleta is alleged to have committed the indecent assault crime in 2010 while working as deputy Director of Information and the same crime to two female employees while at MBC as director general.

The other three counts border on abuse of office while he was on the positions in 2010 and 2014.

Sumbuleta was arrested at his home in Mpingwe Blantyre following Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) investigations into alleged reports of sexual harassment.

In the report, MHRC recommended compensation for the four victims who willingly testified before the enquiry and reportedly suffered injustice and that Sumbuleta should be prosecuted accordingly.

The report found that the female employees were assaulted on different occasions and places by the accused who denied all the charges.

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