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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39 thoughts on “Court dismisses Lutepo’s wheelchair stunt: Malawi cashgate prisoner to appeal sentence”

  1. mankhaule mlamuu baaabaa says:

    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

  2. mbwiye says:

    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

  3. johntembo Kuffor says:

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

  4. keps says:

    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

  5. lamezy says:

    pamtumbo pa mako lutepo

  6. Matako says:

    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 with this house which is apparently owned by a PS imene mumamgotisokoneza nayo. It was the same with Bingu you people started spreading stupid stories that he had stolen from govt. Ambiri ice we spend our resources including time screwing and getting drunk instead of developing ourselves. As one civil servant said a good civil servant must reside either in Mauna or Mtandire. I am also building a three storey house. Which when completed will be the biggest and the most beautiful. Lastly I hope Lutepo has kept part of the loot to use akatuluka.

  7. Mzee says:

    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 as the one you are refering to bdiye ndichitsiru. Do you know how many PSs have built houses better than the one close to Wamkulu palace? Have you seen PS Botolos house, PS Maweru, PS Ligomeka, Finance Director at Parliament Etc. Pse start developing yourself than writing nonsense. I
    Regret that when i used to travel a lot i spent my money on clothes and cars enawa ndianzeru. As for the loan scheme at RBM just shutup or join the bank as an employee. Cashgate was not fraud but uchitsiru weniweni. I challenge you that its not easy to steal donor money as you are alleging. Who said civil servants should reside in toilets and not houses. To all public servants chonde chonde dont let imbeciles like cecilia discourage you from building mansions as long as its not cashgate yauchitsiruyi ayi. Mind you biti cecilia there was no cashgate prior to 2009 when Treasury decided to instruct banks to honour every govt cheques regardless of whether there was money or not. Before that we had limits in govt. Agalu ansanje inu if you dont have a life just commit suicide.

  8. Khwinda says:

    Mxii palibe chachitikapo apa! Tizakumalizitsa ukatuluka

  9. Chigawaneni says:

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

  10. choka phiri says:

    Malawian anger is getting worse. This government have tog be careful before People
    Take action. Dont forget what has happen in North Africa can happen in Malawi. U beat your own dog one dag it Will biten u.

  11. Paul abraham says:

    Ndichilango choyenela ndithu ,koma ena atsalawo awapangenso chimodzimodzi.

  12. Chitetedzo says:

    Poor camera man !!! Poor security !!!! Oh my beloved country!!!!

  13. azibambo says:

    whatever u can say here gentleman doesn’t have impact wait a minute Lutepo is coming out soon.

  14. John says:

    THE SUPREME COURT SHOULD INCREASE THE SENTENCE. LET LUTEPO BE GIVEN ,MAXIMUM SENTENCE FOR EACH COUNT HE WAS CONVICTED,

  15. Phwiyo is next followed by Mama Jb

  16. Cecilia Mapila says:

    Yes, Lutepo anaba! Koma that is just a tip on the iceberg. Go see Mphwiyo’ house in Area 43. Please go behind Wamkulu Palace in Area 12 and see for yourself a house built from Cashgate money by one PS still serving. Check, one ex Secretary to the Treasury, now Minister of some Commerce Ministry who bought almost a dozen Freightliner trucks at one go in the US without any loan, the plundering of IFMIS money by one Human Resource PS, (now in the Nurses Ministry ) through cheques which were later destroyed, this happening with blessings of the Chief Secretary, a beneficiary. All Accounts personal in the Government have each several decent houses and cars from meagre salaries. Money from Donor funded projects have built masons for Project administrators left and right. PS have shamelessly amassed so much unexplained wealth from the same tax all of us pay. Our Malawi for you!
    Our Central Bank is out the main system but plays a vital role in shaping the country’s destiny economically. This the only place in the world where massive housing loans for all staff are recovered in 5 years. In fact the houses are distributed free. At this Reserve Bank, you get a loan for a house, the you are paid housing allowance on top of that, then the same housing allowance is dedicated back…this done within a few years. In practical sense, you get a free house, with no impact on your income. Is this sustainable in our small economy so dependent on well wishers?
    Malawi, as a country, is no less than street beggars, so dependent on Donors, yet we can afford this THIEVING done with impunity and such luxury as at RBM. Are we not worse than a failed state? Do we have any any other direction than destined for DOOM? Malawi is at war with itself. And the Leaders are wining and dining! But thanks be to God, Malawians smile while crying inside!

  17. matthew kayini says:

    Iphedwe mbuzi imeneyi

  18. Big papa says:

    mbava yanzeru ngati imeyi mpaka 11yrs kuti shani? kubwezeretsa citukuko mbuyo2 kumeneko. mamafia ngati awa ndofunika 5yrs yaphuziro shabe.

  19. JB says:

    He looks pretty happy for someone who is going to prison he must know sonething we dont

  20. IMPRESSED says:

    WHAT ARE THE LEGISLATORS DOIN? PLS CHANGE LAWS SO AS TO IMPOSE STIFER SENTENSES.

  21. Cashgate orignated in 2005. Ngondo Amawo ku Ndata

  22. Another 11 years is mostly needed to be added onto this inhumane creature wrongly called a person…chitsiru chimenechi chimunthu chosaganizira ena, chongodzikundikira chokha zabwino… Nice jail…..

  23. Aristotle says:

    let him appeal,it is his constitutional rights.ife maloya tidye ndalama zosalazo.who is next ?

  24. Bigteamz says:

    Anthu oyipa amenewa,bad citizen

  25. Lovemaniac 91 says:

    Jst kil this cow! Azikaba phwanya ya mzake this cow. Iam telling u guy!

  26. Nasan says:

    Has grown finish ayi sovenge

  27. Truck says:

    Atleast he is going for more than 10 years in Jail but no parole eh!

  28. mdk says:

    Wanzeru wati USA?ufuna utiseketse chani?limenelo ndi dziko lomapeleka ngati examplekkkkkkkķkķk

  29. Three regions says:

    WALUTA NGANYA KU MIKUYU. WHEEL CHAIR YACHYANI. ANTHU ANAFA CHIFUKWA CHOPANDA MAKHWALA ALI PA WHEEL CHAIR. AKU HAHZILA MKAZAKO BWANAWE.. 11 YEARS SIPANO.

  30. Mphongozidana Ndau says:

    Let him appeal. After review of the case, give him five more years on top of the eleven already given.

  31. Felix says:

    Nyasa Times, what is it for us to watch on that video. Therez no substance apart from just some crowd talking to its self. Pliz find a better camera man

  32. ineyo obabwa says:

    Mukanampatsa 50yrs. Selfish person

  33. Kudzikonda says:

    No secret under the sun.Mbalame ingauluke motani idzaterabe.

  34. Wa Nzeru Wa Kummawa says:

    Something is terribly wrong with Malawian laws. Here in USA this convict was going to do 140 years behind bars without possibility of parole.
    You Malawians are very lucky indeed. I don’t consider this sentence as deterring other would be offenders at all.

  35. lawrence kutaumbe says:

    kodi bwanji ongomutaya lutepo munthutu wavutika kwabasi komanso akakha kundendeko ndalamazo skizipindula inde sitikukana watibera misonnkhho yanthu komabe mumuganizile munthuyo.

  36. Basikolp says:

    Don’t consider any plea! This was the worst crime against humanity against poor tax paying Malawians

  37. Charter says:

    Apompoyeee!

Comments are closed.