The High Court in Blantyre has declined to discharge the order for the judicial review and the order of stay that was granted to Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Commissioner of Customs and Excise Shadrick Namalomba who was suspended for alleged misconduct.
Kamoto in a letter to MRA staff notifying them of Namalomba’s suspension said the commissioner had been suspended following a preliminary report alleging gross misconduct from his office.
It is reported that the suspension stems from Namalomba’s clearing of eight trucks of ruling DPP strongman Noel Masangwi involving illegal timber for export.
Private practise lawyers of Mbendera Nkhono and Associates made an application in court court to discharge the order for leave for judicial review on grounds that there was suppression of material facts and further that there was an alternative remedy by pursuing the same in the Industrial Relations Court.
The court on Thursday concluded that the matter was fit for the judicial review machinery.
The applicant submitted that he was not challenging the merits and the demerits of his suspension but rather the manner in which the powers to suspend were exercised.
Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda ruled that MRA Commissioner General Ralph Kamoto acted illegally to suspend Namalomba, saying the power to suspend him lies in the hands of MRA board.
“The decision of the Commissioner General is unlawful, unprocedural and or unreasonable,” Kenyatta.
According to the Judge, MRA chief acted contrary to Namalomba’s legitimate expectations in that he expected the board to meet and make proper recommendations to the Commissioner General and that would have been the basis for suspension.
This means MRA will not effect the suspension of Namalomba up until the matter is finally heard and determined.