Former chief tourism officer in the Ministry of Tourism, Leonard Kalonga, who is a convict in what has come to be known as Cashgate, made startling revelation in court on Tuesday saying former budget director, Paul Mphwiyo, had confided to him that he was appointed to the post after “good work” in the looting that was sourcing funds for the People’s Party (PP).
Kalonga, who was convicted on his own plea in 2015 and is waiting for his sentence, is a principal witness for the state in the 2.4 billion kwacha cash gate related case against Mphwiyo and 18 others,
In his day two of testifying against Mphwiyo and 18 others, Kalonga said the stolen money was meant to fund the then ruling PP.
He explained to the court how the looted money was being shared and in his explanation to the court he said the main beneficiary of the looted money was PP.
Kalonga told the court that the first scheme which was like a trial worth close to 80 million kwacha, Peoples Party got 60 percent and the remaining 40 percent was shared among themselves including Mphwiyo, Contractors, people from treasury, tourism who got K2.5 million kwacha to share equally amongst the four of them -Mr. George Banda, Mr. Mphatso, Mr. Mzanda and Kalonga.
“After this I got the call from Mr. Siti and Chipendo from treasury who expressed disappointed with how the shares went on and threatened not to cooperate again if we don’t revise the percentages of sharing the money. I personally drove to Mr. Mphwiyo office with my colleague Mr. George Banda , Chief Accountant at our ministry at capital hill, this is when I first met him in his office as we used to do our meetings at car parks in town as mostly we were meeting in cars.
“Here, Mphwiyo told us that he was not surprised with the behaviour of the two as they are fond of that and told us he can do without them and just brushed off their threats. We left it there and I didn’t tell the two what Mr. Mphwiyo said that he can do without the two I just told them that he has promised to work on the new way of sharing the percentages,” explained Kalonga
Kalonga has since also implicated former senior official in the Accountant General office, Clemency Madzi, Fourth accused person in the case, telling the court that he once met him at Civic office car park in his (Madzi) BMW car where they were discussing on the shares they will want from accountant general office in the next funding request which this time was discussed before the money was requested to avoid anymore arguments
“In June, Mr. Mphwiyo called me to meet and prepare the next funding, we agreed to meet the same day after work at Capital Hotel car park and I drove in my car with Mr. Banda. it was at this meeting that he told us that he has been appointed as budget director from assistant budget director by the President, by this time it wasn’t made public yet but we were first to hear it from him personally. He told us that this was due to his cooperation to source funds from ministries for the political party.
“This motivated us, We even asked him to make arrangements that in one of the day he shall go again to make presentation from our deal, we should escort him so that they should see and know that from our ministry it was us cooperating and helping them to source campaigns money, unfortunately this didn’t materialize as a scandal came to light whilst he was making such arrangements” said cool and composed Kalonga while avoiding eye contact with either of the accused persons.
He said Mphwiyo told them that they shouldn’t get afraid of anyone as top officials at Accountant general were also in the scheme and are also cooperating.
Kalonga told the court that the next meeting was arranged at four seasons along Kamuzu State road. He said Mphwiyo came to the meeting with cashgate convict Maxwell Namata and they sat at the corner in the bar discussing.
“Were told to look for more contractors (suppliers). This is the time that I personally contacted other contractors including one called Protem for my sister.
“Those contractors like Madula Constructions and others who didn’t remit full on what we agreed in first scheme I didn’t include them in the next scheme and this is the time Mr. Mphwiyo brought other contractors like Stadal building contractors, Dan civil engineering and Image investments,” he said
According to Kalonga, Mphwiyo decided as to how much the three companies should be given in form of cheques to cash which were more than 100 million kwacha each cheque while the other contractors contacted by him refused anything more than 100 million kwacha at once as they preferred to have two three cheques with less amount but totalling to 100 million or more.
Kalonga also identified a distribution list document which he confessed it was worked by him showing a total of K1, 439,551,015.30 which was distributed as follows; K200 million to Accountant General Office, K100 million to Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), K100 Million for Tourism officials where as other percentages went to the contractors with the 60 percent going to Mphwiyo to Peoples Party
Kalonga also identified two cheques exhibited in court that were paid to Stadal Building contractors amounting to K500 million as to have been given to Stafford Mpoola by him and were both issued on 24 August, 2013 and were deposited in Stadal FDH account at City centre.
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