PSs convicted over court contempt in Tractorgate, await sentence on August 5

Secretary to Treasury and his counterpart at the ministry of Agriculture risk arrest after the High Court in Lilongwe found them guilty of court contempt over tractorgate – the flawed procurement of tractors from India and their subsequent sale.

Secretary to the Treasury, Cliff Chiunda: in contempt of court

High Court judge Charles Mkandawire found the secretary to Treasury Cliff Chiunda and the ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Grey Nyandule Phiri guilty for disrespecting a court order.

The court had ordered the two government officials to apologise within 21 days in newspapers over the procurement and disposal of farm equipment including tractors worth K37 billion during the Bingu wa Mutharika regime.

Judge Mkandawire has since set Monday, August 5, 2019 as the day for sentencing.

Contempt of court usually attracts two weeks of imprisonment.

Ombudsman Martha Chizuma has since welcomed the ruling, saying the two deliberately ignored the court order.

“If senior government officers disobey court orders, even from the Supreme Court, then Malawi is not a good place to be,” said Chizuma.

Chizuma said Chiunda and Nyandule Phir set a very dangerous precedent for refusing to obey the court order.

The Bingu administration bought the tractors using a government loan from India which they said was meant to be given to subsistence farmers to improve on agricultural production but ended up selling to powerful and influential politicians and government officials at very low prices.

The issue was brought in the National Assembly by former Dedza east MP Juliana Lunguzi.

Apart from the apology, the 48-page report by the Ombudsman specifically called for prosecution of the officials who were members of the internal procurement committee (IPC) and “presided over the sale of the farm machinery and benefitted from the sale should be prosecuted in accordance with the Procurement Act,” plus an apology by three principal secretaries involved.

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Kapado Chimulirenji
2 years ago

PDM you are so far away from understanding how the government operates. It does not require the one who was the PS at the time the tractorgate happened, but who is in-charge. This matter faulted Ministries of Finance and Ministry of Agriculture not Chiunda or whoever as individuals. So the conviction has gone to the Ps’s because they are responsible officer of such Ministries. If they were asked to appear before the court they will supposed to comply and not to ignore. It was Chiunda’s opportunity to defend himself by telling the court that he did not know anything about… Read more »

Njolo mpilu
Njolo mpilu
2 years ago

ma ps ambili aba zambili. bwanji money aid ya vision 2020 HEALTH FOR ALL? mmene ma PS anatengera ndalama kugula ma truck,kenako kukhala ma transporter opita ku zambia ndi cimanga,fodya,
nanga ma PS anaomba ndalama za Education , amangamanga ma watehouse, ma privte school mma rural areas, ife kumati ophuzila ali ndi nzeru— ndi izi

John Kachapira
John Kachapira
2 years ago

Nyandule has the DPP arrogance. A little bit stupid in the head and no respect of others. I hope the Judge does us good and for once these DPP technocrats will learn from this stupidity. And then this lady of ours: Chizuma, level headed. She is my woman! I would wear any day, “am Chizuna”. Munaphunzira inu sizimene timaona mwa ma lawyers ambiri. Just wish 1% of lawyers were like you. Yes I mean 1% for Malawi would have been a better place to leave. Said 1%!!

2 years ago

But thetractors were not sold in Chiunda’s time.It was someone else.What is happening?

2 years ago

we are watching with our eyes/ears wide open 24/7—–how can we make Malawi a great nation with this stupidity ?? Those fighting for truth justice and rhiteousness are our enemies ! REALLY ??

Njolo mpilu
Njolo mpilu
2 years ago

lelo?????? paja munatinji nthawi juliana lunguzi brouht it out????????
shit government

2 years ago

REMAING NOW IS THE BIG FISH, anawo sikuti ali wokha alipo ka phava

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