Justice for taxpayer in Malawi cashgate sentencing – Paper

Judge Redson Kapindu has been hailed for delivering justice to Malawian taxpayer for handing a hefty jail sentence to Oswald Lutepo, a major figure in the “Cashgate” scandal, which led to several donor countries cutting their contributions to one of the poorest nation in the world.

Cashgate prisoner Lutepo

Cashgate prisoner Lutepo

In an editorial in one of the titles of Malawi’s biggest media empire, Times Group, published on Saturday, the Malawi News, said “justice flowed like water.”

The editorial comment said Friday, the day Lutepo was sentences, “ Malawian tax payer got his justice and Justice Kapindu did not disappoint in ensuring that it happens.”

The paper pointed out that Lutepo’s case was of “extra callousness” to the people of Malawi and that no amount of pontification by cashgate prisoner will change the fact that “we are glad the judge did not buy his antics but recognised the gravity of the offence” and handed a balanced sentence.

For the “gibberish “ that Lutepo continued uttering blaming certain individuals for using him as a conduit, Malawi News editorial said he knows where he could have reported it and authorities could have acted on that it, if it merited that.

Balanced sentence as Lutepo’s lawyer asked for one year jail, the prosecutors pleaded for 10 years and the judge handed 11 years.

In his sentencing, Judge Kapindu said Section 323 of the Penal Code stipulates that money laundering attracts a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment while conspiracy to defraud government attracts a jail term of three years, but he gave Lutepo eight years on the first count because of, among others, his cooperation with the court and the restitution of his Woget Industries valued at K370 million.

Lutepo was convicted on his own plea of guilty on charges of conspiracy to defraud government and money laundering of K4.7 billion between April and September 2013.

Many people have commented on the sentencing saying it is not as harsh as Lutepo would want the nation to believe.

Dickson Mutale says 11 years is rather not enough for “this kind of being! He deserves a lot more than this.” While Ken Phiri says he is disappointed with the leniency in the sentencing.

On his part, Rodrick Kapasule argues that in practical sense, Lutepo will serve only five years

While Joseph Adams wonders how K4.8 billion would get one only 11 years in prison when someone stealing a goat gets 25 years.

He says: “Money talks. Lutepo don’t worry, you are just on holiday.”

Reaction on Facebook:

Law scholar Sunduzwayo Madise: Pretty stiff sentence! Starting point for money laundering after a guilty plea was seven. This is because courts normally reduce by a third in a guilty plea. But the court definitely thought there were enough aggravating factors to enhance it to eight. For conspiracy to defraud, that is the maximum sentence, showing the court thought Oswald Lutepo did not deserve any leniency. To order that the sentences run consecutively illustrates that the court felt these were grave offences and a message needed to be sent to Lutepo as well as others out there.

Dominic Mang’anda: It is a fair judgment, if only he was just a conduit. However, looking at the misery Cashgate has brought to Malawians, the judgment is unfair. K4.2 billion deserves a stiffer punishment, if we are to root corruption out of public service.

Hastings Ndalama: Everyone is excited as if this changes and improves anything. Open your eyes and see what is going on! People are still dying in hospitals. The kwacha continues to get weaker by the day, and you celebrate here as if the arresting of this thief changes anything. The real thieves are seated in their comfortable chairs while you clap hands for the one guy who was used as a scapegoat.

Shadrick Kachule: Here was a millionaire who could have utilised his potential to grow his revenue rather than use shortcuts!

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Gerald Milinda
Guest

Malawians will be happy if JB face before court & given stiff stance,because we all know that she is only source of the plunder.Let the justice flow like water

Dambudzo Mwasanya
Guest
So you think arresting only Lutepo will sort out things in Malawi?They are alot who benefited from this cashgate and are walking scot free .What we need is their properties from ill gotten riches confiscated and sold to kick start the failing Malawi economy.The money generated can help to build schools for kids learning under the mango tree and buy some drugs for hospitals.Malawi has a long way to go with get rich quick schemes by a few crooked individuals connected to politicians.We have seen people getting rich overnight without any tangible sources to show.For how long will an ordinary… Read more »
George Kamanga
Guest

A Judge Redson Kapindu munali kuti pamene zitsiru zotheratu (Maxon Mbendera & Kenyata Nyirenda) amapereka dziko kuti agalu (APM & DPP) alamulire dzikoli???? munakaweluzaulandu inu bwezi a Malawi akumva lokoma piano.

Agalu (Mbendera ndi Kenyata) tawonani anzanu kuwonetsetsa chilungamo chiwonekere poyera. Munakakhala inu bwezi pano Lutepo Ali pa ufulu chifukwa munalafuna chikwama akupaseni basi.

God bless Judge Redson Kapindu. Let Mbendera and Kenyata see darkness

Emmanuel E. Muyenza
Guest

I am still waiting for more justice to anyone linked to this heneous crime committed to the poor citizens of Malawi, those who struggled to pay taxes from their mediocre income. All those involved should start getting ready to go eat m’gaiwa and beans. Palibenso za maswera.

Fanizo
Guest

I just want to ask this sentencing with hard labour? Because this guy did something wrong to many Malawians and apangisa amalawi ambiri kuthawa kupita kunja kuti mwina zinthu ziyende after chuma cha dziko chikusowesa mtendere amalawi

cashgate1
Guest

If he was only a conduit, who are the conduiters? Will stay tune for updates.

HASTINGS_DZUWA
Guest

Lutepo Should Be Given A Death Sentence because he makes Malawi to suffer

RoyK
Guest

You cant understand how the judges pass the sentences:25 years for a goat and 11 years for billions of kwachas

Got
Guest

Okuba ndi ambiri koma kusagwidwa ndi ma connections

captain
Guest

Thieves are in government, selling MSB to save mulli, this is wat we call stealing, Lutepo built his empire in DPP government, how , we need to investigate more during DPP, where is Anita Kalinde coz she was her business partner

wpDiscuz

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