Ex-army General Odillo fails to take plea in Malawi ‘cashgate’ case

Former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander, General Henry Odillo, who was arrested in May 2015  over a multi-million dollar corruption allegation were on Friday taken to court but failed to take plea.

Odillo (right) facing charges like Kauwa

Odillo (right) facing charges like Kauwa

Odillo and his former deputy, Lt Col Clement Kafuwa, are accused of arranging a contract to supply military equipment to Thuso Investments, which the State claims were not delivered..

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested them as part of an on going investigation into government corruption known as “cashgate”.

Odillo was fired by President Peter Mutharika in June 2015 and later given lucrative job in  parastatal organisation.

The two have been charged with three counts of abuse of public office contrary to Section 25(b) (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act; negligence by public officer in preserving money or any other property contrary to Section 284(1) of the Penal Code; and, money laundering contrary to Section (1) (d) of the Money Laundering, Proceeds of Serious Crimes and Terrorist Financing Act.

ACB also arrested a former MDF Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Kauwa whose company, Thuso Investments Group, was linked to contracts for the disputed payments at MDF.

Other accomplices are Ganizani Kumchombo and former Accountant General David Kandoje.

During the court appearance on Friday, Kanjoje’s lawyer  Manuel Theu sought deferral of the plea on grounds  his client has not been committed to the High Court in the matter.

Special prosecutor for cashgate, Kamudoni Nyasulu asked the court to allow Kandoje take plea alongside other suspects.

But Judge Redson Kapindu ruled that the due process for committal should be followed.

The judge said it was “an oversight” on the part of the prosecution not to commit Kandoje (six accussed person)  to High Court.

Kapindu adjourned the matter to “a date to be fixed by the court,”

ACB deputy director general Reyneck Matemba is on record saying Thuso had valid contracts with MDF prior to 2013, but the graft-busting agency found that there was no evidence of a K900 million contract to supply blank bullets.

The September 2014 forensic audit report by British firm Baker Tilly found that close to K18 billion of the K24 billion plundered between April and September 2013 was channelled through MDF.

Odillo and Kafuwa were apparently signatories of several cheques, including K3 billion to International Procurement Services (IPS) owned by businessperson Osward Lutepo—who was convicted and is serving prison sentence  on other  money laundering charges—and K1.5 billion to Thuso, co-owned by Kauwa and Alexander Banda, according to information sourced from ACB.

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1 thought on “Ex-army General Odillo fails to take plea in Malawi ‘cashgate’ case”

  1. The Analyst says:

    O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….O
    The casual manner in which these cashgate cases are handled; is quite irritating to every well-meaning Malawian . . .
    . . . You see . . .
    One of the major reasons why APM became president, is that people thought he would be the right person to bring justice to these unpatriotic thieves. Alas!

    People thought that APM, being professor of law; would use his legal rothorhomb, to effectively and efficiently bring justice to all cashgaters; starting with the one believed to have summoned it. Santa Maria!
    . . . Indeed, a skunk; by any other name, shall never smell sweet!

    People believed that APM’s prolonged stay in the outside world, hence exposure to another model of life; would make him think and behave differently from an average Malawian politician. Galilei Galileo!
    . . . Indeed, a monkey is the same, even in different forests.

    Whats more irritating is that he is even failing to make meaningful progress on cashgate that happened during Joyce Banda’s queendom? Sad!
    ……………………………………………………………………………..
    APM and his injustice system are not only failing Malawians, but also God . . .
    . . . God, in his infinite mercy and wisdom exposed these bastards. He even partly punished Mphwiyo (the magma of cashgate) by having him shot and his jaw deformed (the mark of a thief). God miraculously saved Mphwiyo’s life so that more could be known AND done.
    . . . Yes, more we have known; but has more been done also? Not at all!
    God played his part (of revealing out secrets) and expects you APM to bring justice to these people, and you choose to disobey?
    ……………………………………………………………………………..
    . . . By now, these Odilos, Mpwhiyos and others could have been locked up; for long and forever. And their assets taken; yet they are just as free as any other bird flying high up in the sky?
    . . . By now, Joyce Banda could have been brought here (as 80% of all unadulterated cashgate reports, is her name); yet she is just who knows or cares where?; and eating who knows or cares whose monies?
    . . . By now, cashgate could have been dealt with an iron fist; yet Ministry of Agriculture, of Health; the Embassies continue to steal. And the owner of the house continues to conduct business as usual?

    Zokwiyitsa kwabasi!
    O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….O

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