Mzuzu-based human rights and governance watchdog, Youth and Society (YAS), has officially penned business tycoon Thomson Mpinganjira demanding his immediate resignation as Board Chairperson of State owned power distributor Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), following the charges levelled against him by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
ACB slapped Mpinganjira with three counts in a case he is alleged to have attempted to bribe judges hearing the presidential election nullification petition case.
Mpinganjira, who stepped down as FDH Financial Holdings Limited chief executive officer (CEO) following the indictment, is currently on bail.
However, the business magnate denies the corruption charges levelled against him.
He stays put as Escom Board Chairperson with Malawi government fully backing him, a development which has angered several quarters including YAS.
YAS, in a strongly but respectfully worded letter to Mpinganjira dated 13 February 2020, tells the business mogul that his alleged scandal disables him to lead Escom.
“Your indictment by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on 22nd January 2020 for your alleged attempt to bribe the 5 Judges sitting at the Constitutional Court hearing the Presidential Elections case, disables you to lead ESCOM.
“Certainly, you have lost public trust, hence cannot continue exercising any State authority,” reads in part the letter signed by YAS Executive Director Charles Kajoloweka.
“Undoubtedly, it is on principles of good corporate governance that on 27 January 2020, you stepped aside as Group Chief Executive Officer of FHD Financial Holdings Limited.
“Ostensibly, you realized that the ugly criminal charges preferred on you by the State did not only render you morally unfit to lead FDH Holdings, but also threatened the business of your Company.
“On the same principles, we urge you to resign as ESCOM Chairperson to pave way for fresh leadership,” further reads the letter.
It adds: “You are undoubtedly aware of the already ‘gasping state’ of ESCOM due to failed institutional governance, hence your stay at ESCOM in your currently ‘doubtful state of integrity’ is not healthy for the institution. We respectfully ask you to honorably resign forthwith.”
There has been no immediate comment from Escom officials or Mpinganjira himself.
But Malawi Government Spokesperson, Mark Botomani, recently defended Mpinganjira’s continuing stay at Escom, saying the tycoon is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the courts.
However, in an interview with Nyasa Times, Kajoloweka rubbished this backing of Mpinganjira by government, saying it is ” insensitive and ridiculous”.
“What else do you expect from charlatans who oil and benefit from a ‘deep state’ ” ? On fundamental principles of corporate governance, there is no justification whatsoever for Mpinganjira to hold on to public office.
“This is the reason he stepped aside as FDH Group CEO. He must just resign now. We believe he will not wait until Malawians employ radical ways of dragging him out of office,” said Kajoloweka.
The judges hearing the case are Healey Potani, Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu and Mike Tembo reported to Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda about the attempted bribery and the Head of Judiciary formally informed ACB.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :