Inside Malawi ‘cash-gate’ scandal: Kachali, Kasambara, Kabambe implicated

New information emerging from the seat of Malawi Government, Capital Hill on the financial plunder has implicated Vice President Khumbo Kachali, Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara and former Budget Director Dalitso Kabambe among other top government officials.

An insider at Capital Hill, privy to the on-going investigation of the looting by public servants confided to Nyasa Times that the main player in the looting was the former Budget Director Dalitso Kabambe who was authorizing some payments under pressure from Vice President Khumbo Kachali and Kasambara.

The appointment of new Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo did not go down well with Kachali and Kasambara who openly opposed it by leaking some information to the local media that government did not follow procedures when appointing Mphwiyo and a few other government officials.

One local paper, almost three months ago carried a story where it said government did not follow proper procedures in recruiting and appointing some public servants into several positions, one of the positions was that of the Budget Director.

Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara: Implicared

Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara: Implicared

Things started going all wrong when Mphwiyo was appointed Budget Director and stopped some dubious payments to suppliers and in some instances instructed government to pay directly to some suppliers, cutting middle men who had their ‘cut’ from the payments, said the source.

During Kabambe’s era as Budget Director, there were some payments that were made to some suppliers who had ties with Kachali and Kasambara.

Kabambe also oversaw the  self-enrichment under late president Bingu wa Mutharika through  system that led to Mutharika accumulating billions of the public purse.

When Kabambe tried to protest  he was ‘warned’ by Kasambara that he was brought in by the former DPP regime and that it would be easier for government to get rid of him, just like the rest of the big guns who were fired by PP government when it took over the reigns of power following the death of President Bingu Mutharika on April 5, 2012.

But things turned sour when Mphwiyo was appointed Budget Director.

“There was a payment of K100 million to Aziz Issa, a friend of Kasambara who helped Kasambara’s brother with hospital bills in South Africa. Mphwiyo stopped the payment process because he wanted to scrutinize the details. Issa wanted his money back and Kasambara was forced to use K20 million of his personal money to pay Issa while awaiting his payment. Kasambara was very angry with Mphwiyo because of this,” said the source.

Another high profile payment that was stopped by Mphwiyo was a whopping K2 billion payout to Engineer Dean Lungu where Kachali and Kasambara were supposed to get their ‘cuts’.

“But what infuriated both Kachali and Kasambara is when Mphwiyo decided to stop a Malawi Defence Force (MDF) payment of over K6 billion by paying directly to the supplier of goods,” said the source.

“This is when Kasambara organized his boys to organize a hit on Mphwiyo. Don’t be surprised when you hear bad stories on Mphwiyo, that he was also involved in the looting, it’s the work of Kachali and Kasambara so that the ‘heat’ should not be on them but on Mphwiyo, some civil servants and other PP officials who were being used to siphon money from government and donate it to the party. This is the truth of the matter, otherwise there has been too much speculation on this matter,” said the source.

Nyasa Times sources challenged those investigating the issue to ‘follow these leads’ to get to the bottom of the matter.

Kasambara and his associate lawyer Wapona Kita recently denied their link to tone of the gravest crime in recent times in the shooting of Mphwiyo.

The incident which has been linked to corrupt activities at Capital Hill and several other illegal activities involving billions of kwachas has however, been followed with a series of arrests with some of those arrested being found with millions of kwachas.

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