16 May 2018

Malawi: ACB Investigator Testifies in Court On Cashgate Beneficiaries

Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) investigator Clemence Tembo on Tuesday testified at the High Court in Lilongwe that law enforcing bodies were compromised in investigating the infamous Cashgate--the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill.

Cashgate was exposed through the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013 where about K24 billion was stolen during a randomly chosen six months period auditors covered between April and September 2013.

Tembo told the court that Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) - noe Financial Intelligence Authority - and Accountant General's Office where given a share of the Cashgate loot in 2013 to pervert the course of justice.

He was testifying in the K2.4 billion Cashgate case involving former budget director Paul Mphwiyo and 18 others .

Tembo said the Financial Intelligebce Authority (FIA) was given K100 million while the Accountant General 's Department got K200 million.

The court heard that Tembo found the beneficiary list of the priveeeds in a drawer in the office of Cashgate convict and former tourism officer in the then Ministry of Tourism, Leonard Kalonga

"I found the list in the drawer of Kalonga with names of 18 suppliers," Tembo testified.

"The cheque numbers and the money that was there were confirmed to be valid , but in the course of investigations, we discovered that some of the money was distributed to the departments.

"There was a K100 million which was distributed, but we don't know where this money went because, I'm his own handwriting at the back of the printed list, K100 million was given to FIU, K200 million to the Accountant General's Department.

"There was K100 million which was just signed but without indication of where it went."

FIA, formerly FIU, an institution responsible for detecting and preventing fraud, was found in a compromised situation in dealing with Cashgatem according to the account given by the ACB investigator.

The case in which Mphwiyo and the 18 other suspects are answering charges of conspiracy to defraud government, holding property belonging to government, theft, money laundering, fraudulently issuing 24 cheques worth K2.4 billion, abuse of public office and usage of proceeds of crime continues.

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