Hearing of alleged fraud and abuse of office case against former Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) chief executive officer Collins Magalasi failed yesterday due to lack of a magistrate.
When parties to the case convened at the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court yesterday, it transpired that senior resident magistrate Shyreen Chirwa, who was hearing the case, had been moved to the Industrial Relations Court.
Progress in the case will await the assigning of another magistrate.
In an interview at the court, Director of Public Prosecutions Steve Kayuni said such changes were normal in the Judiciary and that the State will wait for the court to assign another magistrate to handle the case.
“It’s a slight setback, but we will wait for the court to grant us another presiding judicial officer so that the matter proceeds,” he said.
Kayuni said the State was ready to parade witnesses and ensure that the matter is expedited as the issue borders on financial crimes.
Magalasi is accused of using Mera funds to pay for accommodation for former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials. He is alleged to have sourced K10.5 million from Mera to fund political activities on the pretext that the money would be used for Mera sensitisation campaigns.
Magalasi denied the fraud and abuse of office charges placed against him.
Following the not guilty plea, the State indicated that it will parade six witnesses to prove its case against the accused.