There was drama at Blantyre Magistrate Court as Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioner Jean Mathanga lashed at a newspaper photojournalist for taking pictures of her and demanded that they be deleted.
Mathanga was appearing at the court as former Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) board chairperson who was arrested by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) together with then CEO John Kandulu over the K4 billion corruption case.
The graft-busting body also arrested former Escom director of procurement Fanuel Nkhono and senior procurement officer Emilias Kandapo in relation to the procurement scam at the power utility.
Mathanga charged at the photojournalist for taking her pictures, arguing it was “immoral” to snap suspects.
“You have been writing bad stories about us,” charged Mathanga.
“Are you not satisfied with what you have done? Why are you taking our pictures? Delete them, this is inhuman. What if I was your sister or relative?”
Meanwhile, senior resident magistrate Emmmella Chidule committed the case to the High Court, stating that the State produced a certificate from the Director of Public Prosecution to commit the case to the upper court.
She said: “Because a certificate from the DPP has been produced to the court, we will commit the case to the higher court.”
Mathanga faces prosecution for allegedly giving false information, contrary to Section 14 (a) of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA) and neglect of official duty contrary to Section 121 of the Penal Code.
Nkhono and Kandapo are charged each of abuse of office.
Kandulu is facing charged of suing his influence that the goods to be supplied without proper documentation and that procedures were not followed, a development that led to the resignation of then Escom director of finance Betty Mahuka.
In recent years, Escom has been entangled in numerous challenges, including toxic debts and alleged corrupt practices that have in turn crippled operations and dented the power utility’s image.
In October 2018, it was revealed that Escom offered contracts to companies not registered with the Registrar General and avoided clearance from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) by splitting procurement deals.
The revelations came at a time when several scandals had rocked the parastatal, including theft of 4.2 million litres of diesel meant for generators and misprocurement of goods worth K5 billion.
PPDA spokesperson Grace Thipa said at the time that it was an offence under Section 39 (2) of the PPDA Act for any Procuring and Disposal Entities (PDE) to artificially split procurement or disposal requirements with a view to circumvent the use of competitive methods of procurement or disposal as prescribed by the PPDA.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :