The Blantyre Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday acquitted suspended Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) head of policy planning and research Roza Mbilizi on two counts of theft and abuse of office.
Mbilizi, arrested on August 8 2012, faced three counts and particulars of the charges were that in March 2011 she fraudulently converted K296 966 (about $742) and K403 324 (about $1 008) to her use and abused her office by directing World Travel Agent to book her a business class air ticket.
She was also accused of not refunding $1 950, being allowances paid into her visa card, for a cancelled trip to the UK.
Mbilizi was around March 2011 allowed by MRA to travel to South Africa for medical check-up and her employers processed upkeep allowances and accommodation but was overpaid by 18 000 South Africa Rands.
MRA suspended her when Fiscal Police arrested her.
The State lined up five witnesses, four from MRA and one Fiscal Police officer, to prove the case against her, but failed to make up the case against her after some of the witnesses, holding top positions at the revenue collecting body, testified that the matter should have been dealt with administratively.
Blantyre chief resident magistrate Thomson Ligowe, making a ruling whether Mbilizi had a case to answer, said the money the accused received on the two trips was paid following proper procedures at MRA and, according to evidence before the court, there was a well known practice for recovering any overpayments.
The magistrate said there was also no evidence to show that Mbilizi directed Mike Chiume of World Travel Agent to book her a business class air ticket and he went ahead to clear her.
The ruling meant that Mbilizi, who was on half pay from the time she was suspended after her arrest, has to be reinstated and paid her withheld salaries.