Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and Youth and Society (YAS) have called for the immediate resignation or firing of Thomson Mpinganjira as Escom board chairperson.
Mpinganjira, who has stepped down as FDH Financial Holdings Limited chief executive officer (CEO), is accused of attempting to bribe judges in the presidential elections case, hence the call for his firing or resignation at the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).
However, government, through comptroller of Statutory Corporations Stuart Ligomeka, has said Mpinganjira can only be fired if he is found guilty, “which is not the case at the moment”.
In a statement, HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo and his deputy Gift Trapence said on Saturday that while Mpinganjira remains innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law, “the allegations against him are grave”.
Reads the statement, in part: “With the mess that Escom is currently wallowing [in], it cannot afford to be driven by a chairperson that is busy fighting for his reputation in the court of law.
“Relatedly, we at HRDC are calling upon government to suspend all government bank accounts held at FDH Bank up until trust and confidence is restored. Malawians have every reason to be sceptical and worried that their hard earned taxes are at the mercy of a bank whose leadership is of alleged questionable character.”
However, Ligomeka, in a brief interview, wondered why people were calling for Mpinganjira’s head, yet the case was still in court and he was not found guilty yet.
“Has he been found our Constitution states that someone can only be removed if he is found guilty by the courts, and Mpinganjira is not. Unless he has been found guilty, he will remain as chairperson,” he said.guilty? Because our laws,
Last week, Mpinganjira stepped down at FDH, with the group’s board chairperson Noel Mkulichi, saying he was granted a sabbatical leave effective Monday, January 27 2019.
In the elections case, two of the presidential candidates in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections—UTM’s Saulos Chilima (the first petitioner) and Malawi Congress Party candidate Lazarus Chakwera (the second petitioner) want the court to nullify presidential election results over alleged irregularities, especially in the results management system.
A five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court concluded hearing the matter on December 20 2019 and judgement is set to be delivered tomorrow.