Former Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) director of human resources Dafter Namandwa has opted to represent himself in a case in which he faces fraud and abuse of office charges.
Last week, Blantyre Resident Magistrate Blackboard Elijah Dalikwiza Daniels gave Namandwa a week to find a lawyer for himself after his co-accused, Alexon Chiwaya, named Clement Mwala as his lawyer.
When the case resumed Tuesday, Namandwa did not have a lawyer and State prosecutor Dzikondianthu Malunda said the matter would proceed anyway.
“What we have done is that we have given him all the documents. If he finds a lawyer along the way, he will hand over the documents to the lawyer but if he does not have the lawyer we will proceed,” he said.
Tuesday, Namandwa pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him.
The not-guilty plea of Namandwa came after his co-accused, Chiwaya, also pleaded not guilty to similar charges last week.
The two are being accused of authorising use of Escom Puma fuel cards, numbers 26060 and 25644, by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) functionaries.
Following the pleas, Malunda said the State would parade seven witnesses to prove its case.
“The case has been set for February 24 for hearing. We have seven witnesses but the number of witnesses can change any time. We can add or remove witnesses as we see it necessary,” he said.
On top of the case, Namandwa and Chiwaya are also answering charges of abuse of office at the Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate Court.
In this case, Namandwa and Chiwaya are being accused of allowing unauthorised use of a company vehicle by DPP functionaries.
During his time at Escom, Namandwa went missing for days but was found in Mulanje District, with no answers as to what happened to him.