By Tiyese Monjeza:
The Chief Resident Magistrate (CRM) Court in Zomba Monday issued a warrant of arrest for Jones Tewesa, a former driver to Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Commissioner Linda Kunje after he absconded a court proceeding.
CRM Austin Banda was set to deliver his judgement in the case where the two are accused of criminal recklessness and negligence after they blocked President Lazarus Chakwera’s convoy along the Zomba-Blantyre road, on December 10, 2020.
State Prosecutor Charles Panyani told the court that he was surprised that Tewesa was not available in court despite that he was fully aware that the court was set to deliver the judgement.
He prayed to the court to adjourn the matter and issue a warrant of arrest.
However, Kunje’s lawyer Christopher Masanje pleaded with the court to deliver the judgement.
“My client is available and I pray that we continue with the matter since we are not sure when the other accused will be available in court,” Masanje told the court.
Chief Resident Magistrate Austin Banda pointed out that Tewesa’s lawyer, Timothy Chirwa, was supposed to notify the court of his client’s unavailability. Chirwa did not show up in court as well.
He further observed that delivering judgement in the absence of Tewesa would be a breach of criminal procedure and evidence code.
Banda then gave the state five days to file a notice of delivery of judgement before adjourning the case to a later date to allow the state to effect the arrest.
Kunje and Tewesa were granted bail on December 17 2020, after their arrest.
The President was coming from the University of Malawi graduation ceremony when the driver allegedly refused to give way on the Zomba-Blantyre road.
In an earlier court proceeding, Tewesa told the court that it was on Kunje’s instructions to disobey traffic officers’ order to pave way for the President Lazarus Chakwera’s convoy.
Kunje exercised her right to remain silent in defence.