The hearing of a case involving four directors of the Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (Fisd) failed to commence Monday due to the absence of the presiding magistrate.
The four directors— Kondwani Nanchukwa, Moses Chirambo, Frank Mwenechanya and Arthur Mpama—are being accused of defrauding the government about K260 million (US$ 325, 731).
One of the defence lawyers Burton Phiri said they were told that the magistrate was preoccupied with other engagements.
However, it was communicated that the concerned parties would meet on Monday to set a day for the hearing of the case.
The suspects pleaded not guilty to counts of money laundering, conspiracy to commit a felony and fraud.
After the failure of the court appearance yesterday, Phiri said his clients are being disadvantaged by the delay because the public sometimes looks at the suspects as if they indeed committed the crime, which is affecting them.
The State is expected to start parading witnesses in case being presided over by Senior Resident Magistrate Florence Msekandiwana.
The four directors are being accused of having received US$325,731 payment from the Ministry of Agriculture and also received the same amount from African Development Bank for a project.
The ministry awarded the company a contract to construct, rehabilitate and expand water supply systems in Ntcheu District.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.