Ombudsman Martha Chizuma says the fate of two Principal Secretaries who were found guilty of gross constitutional violations in the Tractor-gate scandal lies in the new administration as her office handed over the ruling to government.
In March, the High Court sentenced Ministry of Agriculture Principal Secretary Gray Nyandule Phiri and his Treasury counterpart Cliff Chiunda to nine-month suspended sentences for disregarding earlier court rulings on the matter.
The court also ordered the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) to fire the two.
According to a ruling by Justice Charles Mkandawire, the offences committed by the two could lead to impeachment if they were committed by a President; hence, asked the appointing authority to immediately dismiss them.
In an interview yesterday, Ombudsman Martha Chizuma said the matter was no longer in her hands, adding her office submitted to the OPC the court ruling for its action.
She said: “I can confirm that we brought to the attention of the OPC the High Court judgement, which found the conduct of the two PSs wanting and recommended disciplinary measures against them.
“We did this immediately after the judgement was made earlier this year. To date, we have not received any feedback nor are we aware of any action that has been taken on the same.”
Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi did not respond to our query on this issue, but Minister of Information and government spokesperson Gospel Kazako yesterday asked for time to consult.
The court suspended the custodial sentence for 24 months on condition that the two officials should not be involved in disobedience of any court orders again.
Tractor-gate is the name of a public scandal in which the Government of Malawi obtained a $50 million (about K37 billion) loan from an Indian bank to procure tractors for rural farmers.
The equipment ended up being sold cheaply to politicians and senior government officials.