ACB still pursing cashgate at Malawi army: ‘Probe to go across the borders’

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) says it will cross the borders to investigate some of the cashgate cases, saying it is still working on files that forensic auditors Baker Tilly submitted to the institution to help in investigation and prosecution of those involved in the Malawi Defence Force (MDF cashgate.

 Matemba: No executive interference in our operations, we work according to the law


Matemba: No executive interference in our operations, we work according to the law

Updating the media on Cashgate investigations and prosecutions during a news conference in Blantyre on Wednesday, ACB deputy director general Reyneck Matemba said the bureau received over 60 cashgate files from Baker Tilly.

He said ACB invested Thuso Groups Limited, Top Prima, Rummage Pace, International Procurement Services and S.F International which were linked to military cashgate.

Matemba said ACB investigators will have to follow proper procedures to ably collect evidence from countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Caribbean, among others.

He also said there is some evidence that some of these contractors deposited the money believed to have been stolen at Capital Hill in eight bank accounts in Switzerland.

ACB arrested a former Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Kauwa whose company, Thuso Group was linked to alleged dubious contracts at MDF.

According to ACB, Thuso group had valid contracts with MDF prior to 2013 but the anti-graft busting body found that there was no evidence of a K900 million contract to supply blank bullets to the army.

There were also valid contracts for Top Prima and Rummage Pace to supply goods to MDF amounting to $50 million (equivalent of K16 billion).

The bureau says though most cases which were identified in the Baker Tilly Report are commonly and generally referred to as “cashgate cases” by the public and journalists, it usually refer to “cashgate” as those cases in which payments were made by government but without delivery of goods and services.

“These type of cases are the more straight forward cases and where we have moved quickly by proving that payments were made without valid contracts and delivery of the corresponding goods or services. Most people that have been arrested and charged and convicted have been in respect to such cases,” ACB said in clarification to follow up media queries after the news conference.

It said the case of Rummage Pace and Top Prima were not cashgate but overpricing.

“The Baker Tilly report was based on a population of payments which government had made under the period under review. It identified Rummage Pace and Top Prima as two companies that had received significant payments related to contracts with the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) and Malawi Police Services (MPS). The report raised potential problems with the pricing of goods under these contracts.

“Our investigations have confirmed existence of valid contracts that were entered into with the Government and these two companies for the supply of equipment at the MDF and MPS. We have also traced delivery notes and goods that were ordered and delivered.”

The ACB explained that over pricing of goods and services potentially may indicate existence of corruption “but only if a connection or money trail is identified between the suppliers and public officials who were part of such transaction.”

According to the graft-busting body, their investigations so far have not made such conclusions.

Matemba , who also is a lead ACB prosecutor, was asked if the companies have been cleared because their controversial contracts were done in previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in which he said ACB does not favour any suspect in its investigations.

The bureau also clarified that the contracts were awarded during the People’s Party (PP) regime.

ACB pointed out that it has not experienced any political interference in the ongoing investigations of its cases from any Government officials.

There is no law that criminalises over pricing  since the traders determine the prices.

Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale is on record saying the two companies were not accused of ‘cashgate – obtaining payments from government on services not supplied or rendered – but it’s a suspected case of overcharging.

“My reading of the report, which I have done several times shows that the main issue in the transactions involving the two companies was over pricing,” said Kaphale.

“Prices are agreed by two parties,” he adds.

The Attorney General pointed out those documents in his possession show that the payments were approved by his officer, certainly by his predecessor.

Former army commander Henry Odillo and his former army deputy commander Clement Kafuwa were arrested and implicated as they were signatories of several cheques including K3 billion to international procurement services (IPS) owned by convicted businessperson Oswald Lutepo and K1.5 billion to Thuso Group owned by Alexander Banda and Kauwa

The former army chief was one of three signatories apart from Richard Chidzungu and Harry Chawinga, who signed for three cheques amounting to K1.5 billion going to Thuso group while Kafuwa also signed with Chidzungu and Chawinga for cheques worth K238 million,K339 million,K466 million,K180 million and K220 million going to IPS.

But Odillo’s case has stalled and he has not be taken to court for prosecution.

Malawians would have liked the ‘cashgate’ full scale scandal to be dealt with to its logical conclusion but ACB insists there are legal issues that need thorough investigations and it is meticulously analysing all data before pouncing on the suspected “big fish”. –Additional reporting by Wanga Gwede, Nyasa Times

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Zaheer Sacranie
Guest
This is bullshit. What is over pricing Coca cola at shoprite is 200 Kwacha. At our crossroads hotel or victoria hotel is 1200 Kwacha. It is entirely up to the consumer where he wishes to buy. Why are British Airways flights expensive to fly from jhb to london compared to ethiopean. Why is duty on a vehicle more in malawi then zimbabwe. It is all up to the consumer. My uncle bought a new s class. Cleared duty free on a waiver document. Where he could have paid 60 million duty. Well done victoria hotel. Room at crossroads is 100… Read more »
choka phiri
Guest

U can protect DDP BUT u get punished by donors. Thanks donors. APM rgided votes to avis conviction. Its The money he sats he is rich. All the money he took from Malawi to American banks. If you check with The bank There u Will find that it was deposition. During time he was in government with his brother. If Malawian want to know everything. Chakwela will tell. BUT Malawian I know The will give this old man again 5 years. Malawi. Need Kamuzu Banda Who can Hung all thieves like Muntharikas. Get rid of Alhomwes.

Bufalo Soldier
Guest

Machende anu anthu inu nonse. I thought that we have a real case here, but alas! Nonsense, overpricing can not be an issue. Talk of something else, please!!!

Sangomaa
Guest

Comments 1.7.9 shows that something fishy might indeed be happening at MDF but that is not a right to procedure to express yourself …matters of corruption are dealt with by the ACB the has ever failed us as a state at anytime. .If you have evidence report to the ACB & not attacking & wrong exposing others with unverified reports on the media…do not bark as a stray dog!!!…otherwise most of this stories comes out of jealousy nanga munthu asagule nyumba???? Iyaa a Malawi timange dzikoli limodzi osati every genius akakhale kundende nooo

rough kwasambala
Guest

Is. ACB choosing. Who to investigate what about Asians who we hear some were involved like HT…..

Mtumbuka
Guest

A Chidzungu a Ku Army wo anagula nyumba kuno ku Chitedze Cash and he is failing to change ownership to avoid being traced. The house is near the house of a former Officer who was director music at the army ( a Mr Chimkombelo). Come here and investigate and you will see the house

Taweni
Guest

It seems cases may have been rushed and the going/probe is being tapered for uncertainty,. I notice the team is avoiding anything to do with Bingu and APM periods.
I also suspect that this influenced DPP to come back in order to bury the past.

Citizen

John chaikah
Guest

Can someone check the phone records between mr supuni and mr gani from victoria hotel and then see a tender award that has just been released. U will understand what happened. Cashgate of today.

DZIKANYANGA
Guest

Kkkkkkk Lutapa ma million osewa wekha!!!!! Koma iwe ndi Bigiri Boss ase

Paul Stambuli
Guest

Cash Door

wpDiscuz

More From Nyasatimes