High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda has dismissed an injunction and an application for judicial review that Transglobe Limited obtained blocking the police from instituting criminal investigations against the company’s officials.
In May this year, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steve Kayuni instructed the Malawi Police Service (MPS) to commence criminal proceedings against officers and companies that were allegedly involved in the plunder of K12.8 billion at Export Development Fund.
The State applied for the discharge of permission of judicial review on the decision by the DPP of referring the matter to MPS.
Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda said the application for a judicial review was wrongly granted as the matter was not about contractual obligations as claimed but a violation of the Penal Code.
“This is an issue not to do with contractual agreements; it is purely violation of penal laws such as the Financial Crimes Act, the Immigration Act and the Public Finance Management Act.
“We also argued that law enforcement officers should not be prevented from conducting criminal enquiry because that was not commencement of criminal proceedings,” Chakaka Nyirenda said.
He added that the DPP is also mandated by the law to institute criminal proceedings against any person or statute.
“It would be setting a wrong precedent if anyone came and obtained an injunction stopping law enforcers from doing their work,” Chakaka Nyirenda said.
A forensic audit report revealed several alleged criminal activities which resulted in a dwindling of forex in the country after K12.6 billion was allegedly externalised.
The audit, that was conducted in 2021, brought found that Transglobe owed EDF $3 million, Alliance Capital Limited K6 billion plus interest while AHL Commodities Exchange had $800,000 to pay back.
There were also reports of acts of negligence and abuse of office by EDF management which made the organisation lose K12.8 billion through suspicious deals between the period 2017 and 2019.
It is reported that the fund lost the money through its Commodity Market Making initiative which its management had allegedly been administering without adhering to laid down procedures.