Implicate JB, get cashgate amnesty: Lutepo, Pika strike deal with Malawi govt

A chief suspect in Malawi’s “Cashgate” corruption scandal, who was a high-ranking official and financier of ex-president Joyce Banda’s People’s Party,  Oswald Lutepo has sealed a deal to be  State witness to implicate Banda and avoid custodial sentence.

Kasambara and Manondo in court being interviewed by reporters.-

Kasambara and Manondo in court being interviewed by reporters.-

Lutepo was arrested in November last year for money laundering after he allegedly pocketed $6 million  from government coffers through ghost companies which did not provide any services to the state.

He is also charged with perjury after sending a letter to the Attorney General claiming he was threatened and told not to implicate Banda in the “Cashgate” allegations, the biggest financial scandal in the history of the small southern African country.

Meanwhile, he has been in discussion with Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale, proposing to become a State witness and a deal has been struck, AG Kalekeni Kaphale has confirmed.

Ministry of Justice spokesperson Apoche Itimu told a local paper on Sunday that “several of the accused persons have approached the DPP’s office for a possible plea bargain.”

Another suspect, Pika Manondo, has also struck the deal to be state witness.

ACB senior public relations officer Egrita Ndala has refused to discuss “operational issues” in the media.

Commenting on the development in the Nation on Sunday,  Chancellor College law lecturer Dr. Mwiza Nkhata warned that while the law allows pre-trial bargaining, justice cannot be fully served when accused persons only return the money they stole after striking deals.

“Despite the law allowing pre-trial bargaining, it’s also not automatic that every person who asks for a deal should be allowed. The gravity and severity of the crime determines [the action taken].

“The other issue is, the K20 million of 2010 is not the same as the K20 million of 2014…and government should also strive to get the other benefits of proceeds of crime and ensure that generally justice is done and not just accept that someone wants to return the money he [or she] is accused to have stolen,” said Nkhata.

“Cashgate” erupted after an audit ordered by former president Banda found that about K20 billion in state funds had been looted by officials in less than six months last year.

The scandal led international donors to suspend  aid to Malawi, where half of its 15 million people live below the poverty line.

In his letter, which was also addressed to Western embassies, Lutepo he was threatened and told to “implicate” former justice minister Ralph Kasambara in the shooting of budget director and corruption whistleblower Paul Mphiyo last year, the incident which sparked “Cashgate”.

New president Peter Mutharika has vowed to get to the “truth” of the crisis, which is said to have originated in 2005 when his late brother was the country’s leader.

Banda, formerly vice-president to Bingu wa Mutharika who has always denied any wrongdoing, became president after the sudden death of Bingu in 2012.

She was defeated in a hotly-contested presidential election in May.

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62 thoughts on “Implicate JB, get cashgate amnesty: Lutepo, Pika strike deal with Malawi govt”

  1. Pika Manondo, Ephraim Chibvunde and Fahad Assan were operating together but the most dangerous is Pika Manondo. Born of quiete parents but dangerous.

  2. Nyapala says:

    Donors can’t forgive us if we continue to behave in such silly ways. Malawi continues to be a failed state after Kamuzu. Kamuzu remains the best leader so far and I thought Peter having spent years in America would better Kamuzu’s rule. He is another pathetic clueless leader. He promotes tribalism in 21st century.

  3. Potolani says:

    Stupid story! Why not implicate Chakwera? JB anavomera kale kuti olandira ndalama siwakuba!!

  4. development retardation says:

    Bingu got into power with 144 million and died with over 61 billion took that money back to government even though it owned by president peter that is if it is involved in cashgate

  5. Paul J.C.Mwafulirwa. says:

    As stated in 1 Timothy 1:8 ‘But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully’. Using the law for selfish motives is counter productive.

  6. Leader of opposition says:

    Koma movie iyi aaah!

  7. gulukunyinda says:

    OGAYIRIDWA Sanalakwe. Ananena kale JB. Musiyeni

  8. phunda says:

    This is how rotten our judicial system is. This is the only judicial system on earth that allows suspects represent suspects in the same case they are both accused. And I would not be surprised with such deals coz we glorify wrong things. Money over 110billion(90+20) was stollen but some of those will walk out of our courts free and without a case on technical grounds. In Malawi you just be a technically corrupt person or align yourself with the ruling elite and implicate an opposition person to get your freedom. The courts can even compensate you for being corrupt provided you were technical enough. Remember Massaf projects which were abandoned but were fully paid by government yet some ended up winning their cases and compensated.

  9. VYOTO says:

    IF JB MERELY GETS IMPLICATED BY THE MADMAN LUTEPO,IT WILL HOWEVER NOT BE EASY TO PROVE INVOLVEMENT IN MONEY LAUNDERING OR MERE THEFT IN THE COURT OF LAW CONSIDERING THAT THE STRAIGHT FORWARD MULUZI CASE OF MK1.7 BILLION WHERE EVIDENCE IS THERE AT NBM THAT DONOR MONIES WERE INDEED DEPOSITED IN MULUZI’S PERSONAL ACCOUNT HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE TO GOVERNMENT LAWYERS.

  10. acn says:

    DPP IS AFRAID OF JB, SHE MORE INFLUENTIAL.POPULAR INTERNATIONALLY THAN APM

  11. There are certain people you never do deals with.

  12. getrude says:

    IM NOT A LAWYER BUT ,I INSIST THE CASE SHOUL BE INVESTIGATED WELL BECAUSE SOME OF THE VICTIMS MAY IMPLICATE ANYONE JUST TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE SET FREE AS ITS EVIDENT GOVERNMENT IS WILLING TO ACCEPT ANYONE AS A STATE WITNESS JUST TO FINISH CASES.

    THIS MAY BE A VENTURE TO ESCAPE AS WELL

  13. WILLIAM says:

    MBAVA ZOKHAZOKHA IZI

  14. CHEKWENYENGWE says:

    Milanduyinso yayamba kulowa corruption,zija timanena zija siizi?

  15. Jabulosi says:

    GOVT. SHOULD BE TRANSPARENT AND TAKEN TO TASK OVER CASHGATE. 1- RELEASE BAKER TILLY REPORT FOR MALAWIANS (OWNERS OF STOLEN MONEY).2- HOW MANY TIMES WILL LUTEPO CHANGES STATEMENTS AND BE LISTENED TO? 3- DO NOT ENTERTAIN PRE-TRIAL BARGAINS BECAUSE YOU ARE DEALING WITH PROFESSIONAL CROOKS!!!!

  16. Kanyimbi says:

    Tangoyerekezani kuti mbava imeneyi isanduke mboni. Muona zoopsya. Iyeyu aulule payekha osati akhale mboni ya boma ayi.

  17. Chomwe n’chofunikapa ndi chilungamo osati zopakana-pakana matope yapa! Bring and show the evidence, those who are guilty should face the law. Tatshupika maningi a Malawi!

  18. Wanyanya says:

    What Malawians want is to have these cashgaters face the law. If JB was involved,let her dance to it.Aliyense amene zikumukhuza,akumane ndi lamulo apa!!

  19. Nyani wa ku Mwananyani says:

    Bargaining always goes on In legal circles. But it should not be one sided. So, if Malawians are to get justice, anyone of these “cashgaters” who bargains in good faith should NOT be allowed to keep the proceeds of the crimes. All the money and real property amassed from the crimes should be forfeited to Malawians, through the government. These people should not be allowed to avoid jail time, and at the same time keep the acquired goods.
    Same with JB, if she negotiates in good faith. No favors here.

  20. B MHONE says:

    Look at Malawi society as a whole. Corruption is not in government alone. To get a job one needs to bribe someone, driver’s licences can be acquired without passing a test, import duty goes in the pocket of customs clerk, foreigners easily acquire malawi passports. When there is no chance of these shady deals people lament ‘tikakudyerani ku chipatala’. Its a nation built on immorality no values at all. Malawi needs a revolution of sorts! Otherwise we are going in one direction and that is southward.

  21. Vavlov says:

    Lutepo has consistently changed statements, can he be believed? He doesn’t deserve amnesty at all. Joyce may have used him and others, so let her too face the law; hope she wont escape it like Muluzi

  22. eye eye says:

    we are not here to hear about IMPLICATIONS, what we want is EVIDENCE AGAINST ALL CASHGATERS irrespective of any affiliations!!!!!!!!! Come on ACB? POLICE?

  23. Quota system says:

    Let them be tried first. Implicating JB makes the whole thing political. Any bargains will compromise the course of justice. If they stole, let them face the music. How will be selective justice ruled out considering that cashgaters are many. No body should be special here

  24. chiperoni2 says:

    Is Joyce Banda mentioned in the report? If she is why talk about implication? Why is gvt hiding the report they pledged to reveal? Something is not adding up. The gvt is pretending to be busy doing something when in fact it is doing nothing. They are just fooling us. Are these not the same people who went busy on Muluzi, spent alot of money which would have helped Malawians access drugs. Where is Muluzi today? Has he refunded the 1.7billion. Zawo ndi zimodzi awa they have the same spirit.

  25. nenazako says:

    so others are spending sleepless nights figuring out how to antagonize JB, seriosly how can only Lutepo change statements? Why are we allowing such things, our Justice Ministry wake up please you will be embarrassed. We are watching and we will see. Kaya

  26. Mdzukuru says:

    simukugona basi kuti mpaka abit muthane nawo, zanu izo Abiti zake pheee

  27. Really says:

    This shows that this government is hell bent on arresting JB. They have no evidence but they are going to do whatever it tales no matter how tacky it looks …….. What a shame.!!!!!! Donors and the international community are closely monitoring this!

  28. Austin Mussa says:

    Kuchimwa sipamene wagwidwa koma kuchita tchimo-Yesu akubwera posachedwa

  29. matako says:

    This is absolutely nonsense we need to take care of these thieves ourselves. How can corrupt people who have created havoc to our economy be given special deals? lets institute vigilante justice and deal with it on own terms

  30. Nihoriya says:

    We need full Tilly report. A Chakwera where are you? Just sitting mphwi no talk. What a bad government making deals with thieves to save face since DPP is heavily involved.

  31. pearson sadala says:

    Hede.kamba anyekhuladi apa

  32. kukhala says:

    ONCE YOU COMPLETE ARRESTING PP THIEVES THEN SHOULD NEXT DPP & FINALLY UDF.SHOULD MALAWI PROCEED AS STATED HEREIN THEN WE SHALL HAVE A BETTER MALAWI & START ON A CLEAN SLATE.

  33. Chazama says:

    I feel it is just a wastage of time talking about your so called cashgate,just imagine,since the revelation of cashgate one year ago only one person has been sentenced but they are 78 suspects which means it will take 78years to finish judging cashgaters and how many will have died by then? Let us concentrate on development these people are just the same.Mukutipusikapo waka apa mose mukwibila lumoza.

  34. Tengupenya says:

    pafunika kupita ku mpanyila kukaguka nyanga ya pansi pa Nyanja…

  35. Tengupenya says:

    Akakhala A Biti anabenthula kale okha kuti wogawiridwa sakuba nawo. choncho ngati anagawiridwa, wina yemwe anawagawirako akawulula atero mongophera mphongo choti eni ake adabenthulako kale.

  36. Tengupenya says:

    the refund must be of both the principal loot and the proceeds from the loot. apo bii palibe justice apaa!

  37. Disappointed says:

    Very stupid thinking. Is it implicating or evidence in the BakerTilly audit report appointed by Dr JB? If there is, based on the findings of that audit by a firm she appointed, incriminating evidence of her complicity, will it be political persecution for her to clarify matters in a court of law? …just like you would love APM to stand in court if implicated in the alleged 92billion cashgate. Very stupid propaganda. If the DPP govt stays silent on the audit report you will sart maing noise in the other direction.

  38. If Joyce is also a cashgater, the law will surely catch up with her and not by being implicated!

  39. CAPETOWN says:

    please mind u we are not fools jb z amongst the cashgaters.dnt cheat us ama signer ma cheque adali nda .all ths tym phwiyo jb amamuyikira kumbuyo jb chilipo amadziwa kti once phwiyo wagwidwa ndiyaluka shupit 4tseki .jb ndiwakuba,rev malan mtonga,ulemu chilapondwa gwengwe, and ndalama za ndege k25 million idaphetsa kamanya.amtonga campaign amapangira ndalama za jb .

  40. Kaka says:

    So the bottom line is to implicate JB? Our justice system is a big joke!!!! Where is the evidence?????? You need to thread very carefully with this or you are up for a big embarrassment!

  41. mwenecho says:

    so, jb z expected to b found guilty by implication and not by stealing gvt money; zn’t so my learned friends of the constitution? hw waz senzani prosecuted? was it by implication deals? help me folks, i thought u implicate someone who is clean so that he/she should look unclean? hoza hoza malawi! tiyeni nazoni!

  42. concerned Citizen says:

    YOU WANT TO LEAVE AN IMPRESSION IN THE MINDS OF MALAWIANS THAT IF JOYCE BANDA GETS ARRESTED FOR CASHGATE, IT WILL BE BECAUSE SOMEONE WANTED HER ARRESTED? COME ON, WHAT IS HAUNTING YOU? IF JOYCE BANDA DID NOTHING WRONG WHY THEN IS SHE(OR YOU) SWEATING IN THE MOUTH? WHY WAS SHE TRYING TO STOP MOBILE SERVICE PROVIDERS FROM SERVING THE COURT WITH CALL LOGS? AMAYI ANUWA AKUZIGWILITSA OKHA NDIYE OSAWABAKIRA, LEST WE THINK NYASATIMES WAS ALSO INVOLVED IN CASHGATE!

    1. Inu says:

      Very true, somehow I feel like Nyasatimes sometimes fall short of quality journalism. If this site is to make these serious allegations, at least there should some kind of evidence. Cashgate is a serious issue and should not be politicised. The people who are paying heavily for it are those who benefit nothing from politics. Please let us all be patriotic. If JB is in the wrong, then it will be up to the cour to establish that. But we should not be careless to make each and every arrest as a political witchhunt otherwise politicians can loot to the desire knowing that some foolish Malawians will always jump to their rescue under the guise of opposing political witchhunt.

  43. Patrick Manase Phiri says:

    Malawi is a failed state, period.

    1. Nyasa says:

      Failed state indeed…how can we protect and shield a robber like abiti ntila? Where do we get a nerve to write these propaganda articles in the name of protecting the hand that feed us? How much does joyisi pay you for this?

  44. Thumbwefu says:

    PERSONALLY, I FEEL LIKE THE GOVT IS NOT HONEST BY NOT REALISING THE REPORT. NOW ITS LIKE WITCH HUNTINTING, GIVE US A REPORT THEN THERE WILL BE NO QUESTION IF PEOPLE CONCERNED ARE BEING ARRESTED.

  45. Chafwakale says:

    This pisses me off big time.

  46. Tilipo says:

    It is not only us watching but many. Look when this Cashgate erupted many have asked for the truth. We are waiting until truth is said and known.
    Why has it to be Lutepo always to be used to implicate others. He must first tell us how much he has for Malawians.

  47. Dick says:

    PALIBE CHIONA INE

  48. Fwetseke says:

    You want to tell the nation that if ABITI gets arrested that will be a result of being implicated by some people?

  49. eye eye says:

    I think we the masses need more education and awareness on the laws of malawi….for example, very few of us know that PRE-TRIAL BARGAINING is allowed! is this for all cases, or only for the rich and ‘HIMS’

  50. mpumulo says:

    Evil leaders desire evil for others. Heal the wounds of Malawi

  51. John says:

    Yea, can someone please answer this question, where is Malawi going? And they blame mob justice!

  52. Yobe boo says:

    Mbava zokhazokha, in Yawo we say; “send a thief to catch a thief” DPP is the mother thief looking at how things are going on .

    What do you think?

  53. John says:

    So thats what is called justice? Someone steals billions of kwachas in 2010, uses it to accumulate wealth but years later strikes a deal, pays ONLY what he/she stole and lives happily ever after? Lets look at this scenario, They strike a deal , let them scott free but the gvt loses the case, say on a technicality. Then what? They can’t recharge the thieves twice for the same crime can they? Cant malawians just take the law into their owns hands, i means really? This is stupidity and recklessness at its best! Desperation to hunt Joyce Banda is making DPP start acting like airheads ,birdbrains and deadheads. How can they all of a sudden trust Lutepo? All it will take is for a good lawyer to just prove that Lutepo is a dunderhead and and an untrustworthy witness ( which even a first Chanco graduate can easily do), that is ALL. That is all it will take to throw the whole case to pieces!

    1. Inu says:

      First of all, typical of Malawians, you rush to make emotional comments about something you do not know. How do you know that this story is true is just propaganda? Can you answer me this question? Have you been given any evidence to back is story? How many times have we been told that JB is going to be arrested as soon as she lands in Malawi and nothing of that sort has happened? Get a life Malawians. You make me sick. Everyone who stole money should face the music regardless of party, position, tribe, gender etc.

  54. Angel of Doom says:

    Nyasa Times! Nyasa Times!

    It it very difficult to convince any right thinking Malawian that Joyce Banda is beeing fitted up for the CashGate crime.

    A few things come to mind.

    Lutepo was financing PP, Joyce did not think to investigate her financier?
    Joyce Banda personally brought in Mphwiyo, and when he was shot, she made an official statement exhonerating him, and telling the nation she knew who shot him and why, really? a whole president getting involved in the affairs of a very low civil servant?

    Mphwiyo we are noe told he paid MK10,000,000 bail not by check but cash from a bag (See Nation on line)

    If there is a God, Anthu tikalangidwa, and we will be wondering about each others bevaviour while we roast in hell.

    1. m'bantu says:

      mphwiyo, gvt budget director,a low civil servant? well !!

  55. MKWAPU says:

    WHERE IS THIS COUNTRY GOING?

    1. We don’t know my brother

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