The High Court of Malawi sitting in Lilongwe, has thrown out an application filed by the state for former Malawi Broadcasting Corporation [MBC] Director-General, Aubrey Sumbuleta, to have his case heard in camera.
Sumbuleta is on court bail accused of six counts which include indecent assault and abuse of office, the charges he committed at the public broadcaster, MBC where the Malawi Human Rights Commission [the Commission] Report, found him guilty of sexually harassing four female ex-employees of the Corporation.
In the Report, the Commission recommended that the MBC Board of Directors reinstate the four women ex-employees who were reported sexually harassed by Sumbuleta, Ms. Tadala Mussa, Ms. Lilian Moyo, Ms. Yankho Banda and Ms. Chikondi Phiri, the four women ex-employees ended up retiring and resigning as MBC employees.
The Commission asked MBC Board of Directors to compensate the four women ex-employees [survivors] and that they should consider pursuing the matter in court for damages after finding them sexually harassed at different occasions and places and others happened inside Sumbuleta’s office.
Sumbuleta, after being arrested, spent a month on remand at Maula Prison in Lilongwe before High Court Judge, Dr. Chifundo Kachale granted him bail, ordered to pay a cash bond of MK500,000 and two sureties paying non-cash of MK250,000 each as some of the bail conditions.
Throwing out the application filed by the state to have Sumbuleta’s case heard in camera, High Court Judge Professor Redson Kapindu said the state did not provide enough reasons for hearing the case in camera.
…..’’The court will put in place measures that will help to protect victims that will be testifying in Court,’’…said Judge Professor Kapindu in his ruling.
By Vincent Gunde