The State has expressed displeasure over the conduct of the defence in a case involving former Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) Chief Executive Officer Collins Magalasi regarding the procurement of a mobile fuel testing van.
The trial, which was supposed to resume Tuesday for hearing before the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate`s Court, failed to proceed because the Defense applied for adjournment through the State.
But speaking in court, Chief State Legal Advocate Dzikondiathu Malunda expressed surprise with the conduct of the defense arguing that they were supposed to be present in the court to seek the adjournment.
“Actually, we are not the ones that have sought an adjournment as you heard in court there were two letter, they both sought that the matter be adjourned.
“However, court matters are not adjourned via letters, they are supposed to be adjourned in court that’s why you heard me indicating to the court that it was surprising that counsel did not send anyone to apply for the adjournment on their behalf,” said Malunda.
Malunda added that the State was ready with three witnesses which were expected testify before
He said: “Tomorrow, the State will continue to parade the witness, the witnesses were ready today but we could not proceed in the absence of the counsel of the both first and second accused person.”
“The State paraded one witness, we are remaining with five witnesses to testify.”
Meanwhile, Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa has adjourned hearing of the case to tomorrow Wednesday morning.
On April 3, 2019, Mera awarded a procurement contract to City Motors, who indicated that they would procure the van on behalf of Mera at a cost of K704 million.
Later, on May 7, 2019, Mera paid K563.2 million to City Motors as down payment for the procurement contract sum, which was an 80 percent advance payment.
Regardless of the payment, City Motors did not either procure or supply the van to Mera throughout 2019.