Maputo — The Maputo City Court on Tuesday sentenced Gama Nhampalele to 11 years imprisonment for his role in the theft of over 155 million meticais (about 2.15 million US dollars) from the Mozambican treasury, via the Centre for the Development of Financial Information Systems (CEDSIF).
CEDSIF is an institution linked to the Ministry of Economy and Finance which was set up to modernise the public finance management information systems, for all state and municipal bodies. CEDSIF effectively became the guardian of all the Mozambican state's electronic money.
Nhampalele was a CEDSIF technician who abused his access to the CEDSIF computer system to divert money to at least four companies, some of which belong to staff who work for the Mozambican Tax Authority (AT), and had commercial relations with some CEDSIF staff.
Sitting in the dock alongside Nhampalele was Liliana Bule, who, according to the prosecution, received nine million meticais of the money. She was sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
The prosecution argued that 28 fraudulent payments were made via CEDSIF, between January 2016 and January 2020, totalling over 155.7 million meticais. In addition to serving their prison sentences, Nhapamelele and Bule were ordered to repay the stolen money.
Three other people, involved in the companies that benefitted from the theft, Manuel Luis Machava, Benjamim Luis Mucavele and Carlos Manul Pinto, were also charged, but fled the country. The Mozambican authorities have issued international arrest warrants for the three.