Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale has said the prosecution will prove its case on how Cashgate was schemed to fund the then ruling People’s Party (PP).
She told the High Court in Lilongwe that it will expose all that were closely involved in the looting.
Kachale said when she introduced the case in which former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo and others face charges in the K2.4 billion money laundering case.
The top prosecutor introduced the case as the “most despicable breach of trust” very imaginable and described Mphwiyo as a mastermind or axial of public resources plunder of 2013.
Mphwiyo, whose shooting on 13 September 2013 led to the unravelling of the systematic looting of millions of government money dubbed ‘cashgate’, is facing charged with 17 others and the state has started parading its witnesses.
According to Kachale the money which was from vote 360 under ministry of tourism involves top government officials who were trusted to serve Malawians but ended up betraying them as 10 out of 18 suspects are public civil servants.
She therefore called gunshot survivor Mphwiyo as one of the mast-minder who recruited his colleagues to root the government resources.
Kachale told the court that cashgate didn’t just happen without any objective as they believe it was a People Party (PP) scheme to steal the money to use for its 2014 elections campaign and that Mphwiyo was the one who played a central role calling it a “calculated scheme” supported by inside officials as most documents like payment vouchers were destroyed and in some cases hidden to get away all evidence on the matter.
“In this case we will show how Paul Mphwiyo even though he was budget director played a central role in this scheme,” said Kachale.
“W e will show how for example one Stafford Mpoola played a role to cash huge sums of money in exchange of rewards in form of percentages. We will show how Steven Likhunya Phiri even though an IT expert his name not mentioned anywhere in bank statements but played a vital role for all the accused to cash the money,” Kachale told the court.
“We hope and do trust that truth will come out in this case so that the whole nation of Malawi now know the truth as who steal their money and the motive behind it, , said Kachale in her address to the court.
And true to Kachale, the case has started taking shape with convict former chief tourism officer in the Ministry of Tourism, Leonard Kalonga, narrated how Mphwiyo lured him in the looting.
According to Kalonga, it was Mphwiyo who explained the scheme to him and later asked him to sell the idea to people who matter at the Ministry of Tourism.
Kalonga said Mphwiyo also instructed him to recruit contractors within the construction industry to avoid suspicion when drawing large sums of money.
Roughly K20 billion went missing during the tenure of Joyce Banda as president and another K236 billion went missing over the eight years of the presidency of the late Bingu wa Mutharika.
About 30 per cent of the country’s budget could have been looted over a decade – almost as much as donors have provided Malawi over the same period.
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