ACB, a right to reply: Muckracking EXtra

Last week the ACB was our guest on this page. We teased the anti-graft body how it could let a woman who skimmed K63 million from government get off with a mere slap on the wrist.

Tukula ((left) with his lawyer Kasambara ar the court

Tukula ((left) with his lawyer Kasambara ar the court

Well, Egrita Ndala, her whose day job is to tell us who has been playing monopoly with our cash, dropped by with a little lecture. Enjoy:

We write to clarify on the charge of theft against Mrs. Tressa Senzani in Muckraking on Sunday of 19th October, 2014 titled Raw deal. In his column Raphael Tenthani is questioning the reason behind the ACB charging the former PS with theft instead of theft by servant.

 It should be understood that the money which Mrs. Senzani stole was not from the Ministry of Tourism. The money was from the Account Number One which was not in the custody of Mrs. Senzani. Therefore, any attempt to acquire funds from the account was construed as theft. A suspect is charged with theft by servant on things which he/she was a custodian.

 In the column Mr. Tenthani has also accused the Bureau of hiding information from the court. The fact of the matter is that the Bureau had the evidence filed in court but the suspect pleaded guilty to the charges. Legally, prosecution does parade witnesses to prove a case whose suspect has pleaded guilty. It is only when a charge of not guilty has been entered that the prosecution tenders evidence in court.

 On the arrest of Mr. Christopher Tukula, it should be understood that Mr. Tukula was not investigated for giving legal advice to his clients. What the Bureau established was that Mr. Tukula was telling his clients as well as other people (who were not his clients but were called to the Bureau to give witness statements) to lie to the Bureau. This is tantamount to causing people to give false information to the Bureau.

 The case he has been arrested for started way back in October 2013 before he was appointed Director of Public Declarations. The Bureau obtained a warrant of arrest on 18th October, 2013. The Bureau had tried to execute it but Mr. Tukula was not available in Lilongwe.  What delayed the execution of the warrant was the injunction which Mr. Tukula had obtained on 25th October 2014, through his lawyer Mr. Ralph Kasambara.

 It would, therefore, be misleading to present issues as if the arrest has been done to incapacitate the office of the Director of Asset Declaration.”

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16 thoughts on “ACB, a right to reply: Muckracking EXtra”

  1. Watu says:

    On the arrest of Tukula things are not adding up, arrest warrant issued on 18 October, 2013 and injunction on it 25 October 2014. So, over a year ACB has been trying to arrest him yet the guy was still in Malawi. Very interesting! Even if they are typo errors, ACB didn’t handle the matter impressively. The warrant issues shouldn’t take long time as in this case. Otherwise those who are talking about Realpolitik have a point. As for Senzani case, ACB gave the nation raw deal, no excuse can cover the mess. But it is not only ACB that gave us a raw deal, the judge too. The corrupted judge was too lenient just as ACB. The judge had all information and power her disposal. She knew impact of the theft and could have opted for maximum sentences and not concurrent serving of the sentences. Yet she opted for concurrent serving and close to suspended sentences. She too is corrupted. She is sheep in a wolf clothes. Her assertion that ACB could had charged Senzani with public theft is deceptive. She had an opportunity herself to sentence the accused to close to 15 years yet she prefered 3years. Both public parties in this case gave their masters, taxpayers, raw deal.

  2. mwana mulopwana says:

    Malawi ali pachiopyezo chachikulu, in my view, it does not matter whether the account was in account number 1 or account X, the issue is that the money that was stolen is govt money in other way round tax payers money, It just shows that ACB has a lot of stuff who does not understand their own job, and I don’t like the issue of bargaining, to my understanding the judiciary should draw a redline on the sentence otherwise it will be waist of time, a lot of people have died because of the theft , bodies has decomposed at KCH just because the hospital was failing to pay a mere MK4,000, 000 while someone had the guts to steal more than MK100 Million and get 16 months in jail, it is high time that the chief Justice should also convene a meeting with her fellow judges otherwise I forsee another Masipa getting money behind the table and giving a very weak sentence, it is now hightime that we should be thinking like real people and not mere goats

  3. contrarian says:

    Half-baked judges are costly to this nation. The public sweats to make ends meet and just a few crooks feast on the funds entrusted to them. The public will one day get their justice without the so-called lawyers. So much public funds abused and yet it is claimed that more tax should be collected. Mxxsh!

  4. bingiza says:

    A civil servant is simply an employee of the govt and answerable to the govt.Stealing from the govt coffers in raw thinking,he is meant to be charged with theft by public servant regardless of the source of purse.The law must not be twisted to suit few individuals,anaba ndarama za boma and has to face the punishment equally

  5. Baisoni Thom says:

    And this is the guy, who in Mr. Mutharika’s wisdom, having been schooled on how to circumvent the law by one crooked lawyer, should be the head of a government department whose responsibility is to ensure that people are truthful about their financial standing! Yes, we really are in trouble! This is the time for Lomwes to govern! Or is it to misgovern?

  6. Mtumiki Woyamba says:

    Ma labishi!

  7. eye eye says:

    So where are these accomplices who authorised payment from Account Number One….to pay the millions to one Senzani? Should we read it that it is these people that paid the cash from Account Number 1 that should be accused of theft by public servant?

    There is something fishy here as there is likely to be a chain of them yet its only senzani arrested so far! For sure senzani did not write a cheque for herself from account number one: so, WHO released this money for ‘no services rendered’ from account number 1? Is it Minister of Finance? RBM Governor? PS Finance…who? I ask again who authorised this payment to senzani?

  8. petrol kali says:

    mmmmmmmm egrita ndala the poor soul palibe chomwe ukuziwa iwe. mbava imeneyi senzani is sister to anna kachikho ivy kamanga ana ake amacheza ndi ana akaliyati. malamulo anthu amakomela anthu olemela basi tiyeni tivomereze. a egritta mungotayapo nthawi yanu ndipo mukundisekesa hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  9. M'ngoni wa pa Ntcheu says:

    Ok? Zayambika zomayankhana and defend undefendables eti? Tiyeni nazo tione kuti zititengera kuti.

  10. dadaboma says:

    ACB is bullshit.

  11. Kenkkk says:

    If ACB now say that tukula’s case started in October 2013, why did they not disclose this information to PAC prior to Interviewing tukula for the asset declaration? Pac would not have selected him!!!

    On senzani I think ACB has lost the plot here. She is a public servant and her theft was done that way? There would have been no theft if she was not employed as a civil servant. She is a public servant whether or not she had control of the funds!!!

    As for sentencing, the money laundering charge carries a maximum of 10 or 15 years? But why was she given only 3 years? Something wrong here with the judge passing sentence!!!

  12. MaiMai says:

    Is nde zitinso izi? ACB starred writing articles to refute issues? Since when? This is rubbish now. . How many articles are going to write in the media? EGRITA you can’t beat the media,”the more you refute the more they take you on”.

    If you knew Director wa Assets ali ndi milandu, why didn’t you even inform APM by phone kuti abwana munthuyu ngwakubanso? You waited until he was appointed? ?? That’s how foolish you are in case you didn’t know.

    Cmon ACB is not a women’s NGO get life…

    1. Sec-specialist says:

      Sexist, sexist sexist. And check your facts again, why should ACB have phoned APM to tell him that Tukula is a thief as you suggest? Tukula was hired by Parliament.

      1. Mr.Bambo says:

        Ok,you suggest ACB should have phoned Parliament telling them Tukula was also another bover?Ok i get you Sec.Specialist!!!

  13. John says:

    Um,,,,erm,,,,, so she stole the money that she was not a custodian of ( like stealing a goat that you are not looking after), in that sense she should get “lesser sentence?”. Ok, firstly forget about the common logic, coz lawyers dont have it anyway, but,,,,,WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?
    Ok, so, she pleaded guilty, buh-whu!, big deal, that does not mean all what she did should just be forgotten and considered irrelevant does it? It should still be put under consideration within the whole process, even when making your strongest (read that as weakest) arguments in court. But even a standard 4 kid could have told you that.
    About Mr Tukula, what do you mean he was telling clients to ” lie”. Is that not what all lawyers do, “bend the truth” which can be construed as “lying” depending on which side of the fence you are? May be an example could have clarified the issue here. Did you my dear Egrita, prove these “lies” to be lies or you just went for the simplest and fastest( laziest) method of silencing opponents, lock them up?
    My big question is, WHY IS IT THAT ALL MEASURES THAT THE ACB TOOK SEEM TO FAVOUR SENZANI?. Was that just a coincidence? Or should we be asking, How much did that cost her?

  14. Tengupenya says:

    Well ACB who had it your way! it is probably academic that here a controlling officer with delegated authority over funds allocated from treasury to a particular department or ministry deprived the treasury of funds allocated to another department or ministry with intention to permanently so deprive the treasury (so theft occurred without doubt); whether the theft was committed by a public servant is what ACB is contending “was not the case according to the law”. well ACB you had it your way and have probably helped the convict get a lighter sentence. The treasury is one whole. The public purse is one whole. The Public service is one establishment, where its officers will of course be deployed to specific departments or ministries. When a civil servant deployed in one department or ministry deals in any manner with another department or ministry, s/he does not stop from being a civil servant or a public servant. Hence deployment to another department of ministry does not absolve a civil servant of his or her responsibility to any other department or ministry. they hold positions of trust to the whole establishment of the civil service; much more so to the Treasury, the public purse. Their responsibility is not limited to the portion of the allocated funds that they control directly. Controlling Officers of the rank of PS have even greater responsibility across the entire establishment. You cannot differentiate treasury resources- they all belong to the establishment just as the civil servants belong to the whole establishment. Inu moti mlonda kuba mu ofesi imodzi yomwe iri mu compound tingati kuti sanabe ngati munthu wa ntchito if iyeyo amagadira ofesi ina mu compound imeneyo?

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