Fired Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi has obtained an injunction against the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) from withdrawing two official vehicles from him.
In the order dated June 26 2022, High Court of Malawi Judge William Yakuwawa Msiska set July 8 for hearing both parties, notably Chikhosi as the claimant and Deputy Inspector General of Police and SPC as defendants.
Chikhosi’s lawyer Wapona Kita confirmed the development on Sunday in an interview, saying his client is keeping the vehicles in question, a Toyota Landcruiser VXR V8 and a Toyota Landcruiser Prado TX pending clarity on his contract following his removal by President Lazarus Chakwera.
He said: “It’s a good relief for my client as the police were causing havoc at his house in a bid to force him to surrender the vehicles.”
In a sworn statement dated June 25 2022 which The Nation has seen, the former top civil servant claimed that uniformed police officers raided his residence in Area 10 demanding to collect the vehicles on instruction from Deputy Police Inspector General who is the first defendant and the SPC appearing as the second defendant.
The President fired Chikhosi on May 31 2022 and replaced him with Colleen Zamba.
In his claim, Chikhosi indicated that he was not communicated to in writing about the decision to relieve him of his position as SPC apart from hearing about it through the national address on May 31 2022.
Reads a statement signed by Kita: “It is clear that he [Chikhosi] has not been fired or has had his contract terminated, but is still in the public service to be redeployed elsewhere by the President, that His Excellency the President has not made any communication to the claimant changing terms and conditions of his service, neither has there been any communication yet about his redeployment and so far the claimant is still receiving all the benefits under his contract.”
Chikhosi further argues in the sworn statement that he was on a three-year contract from July 2020 and has served only two years. He said according to his conditions of service, he is entitled to purchase one of the vehicles at 10 percent of the original price duty free.
“Since the claimant contract is yet to expire, he intends to exercise this option with regard to any of the vehicles that were officially allocated to him for his use,” he submitted.
Demands to have Chikhosi removed as SPC were first made public in February 2021, barely eight months after his appointment, by a splinter group of Malawi Congress Party, a key partner in the governing Tonse Alliance, which asked Chakwera to fire the SPC and some State Residences employees.
Public Affairs Committee as well as Catholic bishops under the Episcopal Conference of Malawi also added their voices to calls for Chakwera to replace Chikhosi.