Former Roads Authority (RA) chief executive officer Trevor Hiwa has been acquitted in a case he was accused of abuse of office in the award of a World Bank contract to a family company, Infracon Limited.
He was arrested in 2017 by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on allegations that he recommended Infracon Limited to be awarded a World Bank contract worth K217 million in 2016 for the design and supervision of various road construction projects in the Central and Southern regions without the approval of Internal Procurement Committee (IPC) and declaring interest that the company belonged to his family.
He was charged with failure to declare interest but also abuse of office.
Has no case: Hiwa
The court earlier cleared him on a charge of failure to declare interest but the charge of abuse of office remained.
However, High Court of Malawi Judge Violet Chipao, sitting as chief resident magistrate, yesterday acquitted Hiwa on the charge of abuse of office.
Hiwa’s lawyer Khumbo Soko confirmed the acquittal, saying the court did not find any evidence that Hiwa was the one that recommended Infracon for the contract.
The lawyer said the judgement is a relief to his client, who has had the case hanging over his head for seven years.
“The prosecution has had a devastating effect on our client’s personal life and business. This offers him a chance to rebuild. It really has been a horrible seven years. His relief is immense,” Soko said.
Hiwa was appointed as RA chief executive officer in July 2014 and was fired in 2017 after the RA board disciplinary committee faulted him over the alleged abuse of office.