Another cashgate contractor arrested

The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested a contractor for allegedly obtaining K15, 728, 541.00 from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for services which were not rendered.

ACB Senior Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala said the arrest of Philbert Mkandawire Managing Director of Mahembe Civil Engineering is in relation to the ongoing cashgate investigations.

Cashgate is a catchword the media is using  for an organised scheme that saw the looting of billions of Kwachas from government coffers.

A mass trial of more than 60 people arrested in connection with the scheme is in progress.

ACB charged Mkandawire with three counts of money laundering contrary to Section 35(C) of the Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act; and three counts of obtaining money by false pretences contrary to Section 319 of the Penal Code.

And appearing before Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court in Lilongwe on Thursday, Mkandawire pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

The Court then granted him bail on the following conditions that he pays a cash bond of MK2 million to the Court, furnish two sureties bonded at MK1 million cash each, must report to ACB Offices twice a week.

The Court also ordered Mkandawire to surrender travel documents to the Bureau and not to leave Lilongwe without the ACB’s Director General permission.

But Mkandawire failed to meet the stipulated monetary conditions and has been remanded at Maula Prison.

Trial commences on 4th March, 2014.

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