BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)— Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) Board Chairperson, Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe, and other members of the board, risk imprisonment following failure by the energy-regulator to reinstate Raphael Kamoto as Chief Executive Officer.
According to our sister paper, the Daily Times, Judge Charles Mkandawire on Monday last week granted Kamoto leave to apply for an order of committal after an application was filed at the High Court in Lilongwe through his lawyer George Mtchuka Mwale.
Kamoto, together with Director of Finance Elias Hausi, were fired on February 6, 2017 for abuse of office.
Kamoto and Hausi are accused of diverting K3 billion from the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF), to Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), to be used in the procurement of maize.
However, on March 16, 2017, he obtained an injunction restraining MERA from dismissing Kamoto and Hausi.
Apart from Bvumbwe, other MERA board members who may be imprisoned for contempt of court, are Felisa Kilembe, Peterson Zembani, Khwauli Msiska, Patrick Matanda, and Lewis Mhango.
In an affidavit he swore on March 23, 2017, in support of an ex-parte application for leave to apply for an order of committal, Kamoto wrote that when he reported for work on March 20, 2017, he was informed that he would not be allowed to work as Chief Executive Officer as he was on suspension.
In the affidavit, Kamoto also wrote that MERA’s lawyer, Gabriel Chembezi, wrote his lawyer informing him about his suspension at MERA. Kamoto, however, said there was no reference in the injunction to the effect that he would revert to being suspended from employment.
“Such an interpretation would be preposterous because I can only be on suspension if I am waiting for a disciplinary hearing at a future date. This is not the case in the present circumstances,” reads the affidavit.
It adds: “That the defendant’s action in preventing me from resuming my duties, is in utter disregard of the order of injunction. That it is my respectful submission that unless the defendant’s board is committed to prison for contempt of court, they are likely going to continue to disobey the said order which was duly served on them.”