Court dismisses Lutepo’s wheelchair stunt: Malawi cashgate prisoner to appeal sentence

Judge Redson Kapindu of the High Court registry in Zomba on Friday dismissed claims by cashgate convict Oswald Lutepo‘s mitigation that he is too unwell to walk amidst reports, he is fit and well in closed doors.

Lutepo on wheelchair to Maula prison

Lutepo on wheelchair to Mikuyu prison

Lutepo addressing a news conference prior to his sentencing at the High Court in Zomba

Lutepo addressing a news conference prior to his sentencing at the High Court in Zomba

Lutepo attended court for sentencing in a wheelchair and has been using it since December last year.

His according to his lawyer Osward Mtupila, the cashgate prisoner started using the wheelchair after suffering what he described as an anxiety disorder, saying “he cannot lift his legs [and] h e feels numbered.”

But in April, two psychiatrists said Lutepo was faking madness.

Reports also indicate Lutepo is able to go and bath alone and dresses properly himself in jail.

Justice Kapindu in his sentencing in the high profile case noted that corruption scandal led to a cut in foreign aid to the impoverished Malawi and Lutepo deserved maximum jail term.

“The convict will serve a total of 11 years in prison,” Judge Redson Kapindu said in his ruling, adding that the scandal had had a “bad impact on Malawi society and those responsible should be held to account.”

Judge Kapindu said Lutepo was “clearly a major player in this grave economic crime against the people of Malawi.”

Lutepo, who had previously pleaded guilty to defrauding the government of K4.2 billion (about $9.3 million), looked composed as the sentence was handed down, and said he would appeal against the sentence at the Supreme Court.

He faulted Judge Kapindu’s sentence as “harsh”, saying he has been “inconsiderate” because he pleaded guilty on his own undertaking.

“That should have been considered,” said Lutepo.

Lutepo was given eight years for money laundering and three years for conspiracy to defraud the state due to “the exceptional gravity of the offences and the gigantic sums of money involved,” Judge Kapindu said.

“I have found no single case of such huge proportions in Malawi,” he added.

Lutepo was arrested in 2013 on suspicion of pocketing money from government coffers through ghost companies which did not provide any services to the state.

Deputy Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Reyneck Matemba, prosecuting, said he was “very happy” with the number of years given to Lutepo, saying they would have loved the cashgate convict to be given a stiffer punishment but the laws set ten years as a maximum for his offences.

So far there have been ten convictions, Lutepo is the eighth to be sentenced, while Caroline Savala and Leonard Kalonga await sentencing.

Of those already sentenced, Lutepo has received the longest jail term whle the first one to be jailed Tressa Namathanga Senzani got three years.

Lutepo was whisked away to Mikuyu Prison about 10Kms from the city of Zomba where he will serve his jail term.

Cashgate scandal, which originated in 2005, prompted foreign donors — who provide around 40 percent of Malawi’s budget — to pull the plug on aid worth around $150 million.

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mankhaule mlamuu baaabaa
Guest
mankhaule mlamuu baaabaa

frankly speaking we are all thievs but kusagwidwaku nkomwe kukutitchinjiliza,Lutepo atuluke azikayendesa company yake,analemba anthu ambiri asavutike ayi, pitani ku appealko ndithu,judge amene wamugamula zaka zonsezi muti KAPINDU was emmotional n influnced by the public,he wad suppozed to close his ears,n give a sentence soberly, lutepo had strong mitigating factors bt neither of them was considered, aku court of appeal akachepetsa zaka zakezo muonanso, mumpatse 2years,iyaaaa,Wishing u gd luck LUTEPO

Bento
Guest

yah

mbwiye
Guest
inu hudge wanji womanga munthu wogulisa katundu osamanga wolipira ma cheque kodi lutepo amumanga burgary kapena ngati ilicashgate wolipirawo anayenera kumangidwa komanso kuwuza anthu zowona inu potulusa ndalamazo amakathyola ma office kapena amalipidwa payment vuto si lutepo koma amalemba ndi kulandila katundu amapanga approval ma payment lutepo atuluke zopusa ayi nduna zonse zili boma zakuba bwanji simukumanga ngati youth active initiatives tikufuna nthandizo loti tiwuze amalawi azuke asiye kugona atimangira anyamata onse akufuna nkhalamba zimfiti zokha zokha zisale
johntembo Kuffor
Guest

Appeal and Get 125 years with hash labour terms. what a stupid fool

keps
Guest

medically Malawi has an auto immune disease i can call it contactis globalitis and everybody gets away literary with murder. koma ifeyo a medic tikangotsokoneza kazii kuchipatala ndi big issue
c u in hell,heaven or prison which ever suits best or comes first

lamezy
Guest

pamtumbo pa mako lutepo

Matako
Guest
Cecilia why are you so bitter? Do you have irrefutable evidence that these people stole? The RBM has it’s own conditions for it’s employees and it’s all legal. Kodi the house you are talking about ndiyotani? Koma zooms PS can’t afford,? Am assuming chemwali you know all his sources of income including ndalama zasatanic? Î might not have a posh house but I believe it’s not difficult as long as you put your mind to it. I have also discovered that 80% of houses in new area 43 belong to public servants who are below PS. So what is different… Read more »
Mzee
Guest
Cecilia Mapira ngati ili nyere mungozikanda. If you knew that cheques were destroyed why did you keep quite up to now. Its people like you who are a stumbling block to development. A good house is not a function of how much you have but taste and commitment. Have you also confirmed that the house was built using stolen govt money or its just perception. Being ST is not a licence to theft. I believe you are a thief who never progressed and your article is full of jealous and envy. If a PS cannot build a house as presentable… Read more »
Khwinda
Guest

Mxii palibe chachitikapo apa! Tizakumalizitsa ukatuluka

Chigawaneni
Guest

A country with no direction, very shameful leaders. Leaders who are there not for national but personal development. God is watching.

wpDiscuz

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