Malawi: Ex-Malawi Army General Odillo K2bn Cashgate Case Winds Up

The State has Tuesday morning finally wound up a K2 billion cashgate caseagainst former Army Commander General Henry Odillo and three others.

In the case that started over four years ago, Odillo, former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) deputy commander Clement Kafuwa, former Accountant General David Kandoje and Ganizani Kuchombo, are accused of fraudulently paying arms supplier Thuso Group about K2 billion for a non-existent contract.

The prosecution has paraded 27 witnesses and the case has come to an end after State paraded its last witness who is Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) chief investigations officer Florence Phiri.

The hearing of the case on Tuesday, was short after the defense declined to cross examine Phirias the State said it was not surprising.

According to Special Cashgate prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu the decision by defense not to cross examine their witness could be a strategy.

The prosecution contends that on Odillo's watch, MDF allegedly paid the supplier, Thuso Group, the stated amount in three instalments between March and August 2013.

During an earlier hearing, one of the State witnesses, former Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa conceded in court that there was no evidence from the Baker Tilly forensic audit report implicating Odillo in a conspiracy to defraud the State.

Meanwhile, Presiding High Court Judge RedsonKapindu has directed that both State and Defense submit their submissions by May 7, 2021 on whether there is a case or not.

The Zomba-based judge adjourned to May 18, 2021, for submissions hearing.

The cases followed the release of the Baker Tilly (now called RSM) report on Cashgate which revealed plunder of an estimated K24 billion of taxpayer money over a randomly selected six-month between June and September 2013.

The other high-profile Cashgate case in progress involves former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo and 18 others who are accused of a role in the alleged fraud of K2.4 billion.

Mphwiyo's shooting outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013 is widely seen as the incident that exposed Cashgate.

More From: Nyasa Times

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