The High Court in Zomba has failed to start hearing a case in which some civil society organisations (CSOs) want former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to refund K13.9 million in donations by public institutions.

Lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa who is representing the CSOs said the matter could not proceed because the presiding judge Zione Ntaba is bereaved.

Today, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) national chairperson, Gift Trapence was supposed to testify in the matter in which the DPP is expected to go it alone after the public institutions that pledged or donated the money towards the party’s fundraising drive dubbed Blue Night on July 29, 2017 in Lilongwe withdrew from the case and signed consent orders with the CSOs.

The parastatals are Lilongwe Water Board, Lilongwe City Council, Blantyre City Council and Mzuzu City Council.

The CSOs argued that the gesture by the public institutions amounted to misuse and abuse of public resources.

They sought a declaration of the court that the donations to DPP contravene the doctrine of public trust, the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act.

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