Lilongwe High Court has Tuesday sentenced cashgate convict Angella Katengeza to five years imprisonment over the role in the K105.9 million (about $157 000) laundered from the government coffers.
Katengeza was charged alongside former assistant director of tourism, Leonard Kalonga, for conspiring to use the former’s Faith Construction Company to defraud government.
High Court judge Fiona Mwale found Katengeza guilty of theft and money laundering in the fraud scam christened as cashgate, which was the biggest financial scandal in Malawi’s history and helped push former president Joyce Banda out of power in 2014 elections.
Kalonga is also waiting for his sentence.
“The convict will serve a total of five years in prison,” Judge Mwale said.
Defence lawyer Gilbert Khonyongwa who has asked the court to consider handing his client a non-custodial sentence, said he will discuss with the convict on whether to appeal or not.
State prosecutor and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) deputy director general Reyneck Matemba welcomed the custodial sentence.
Matemba said theft and money laundering are among serious offences (felony) in the country and deserve custodial sentences in all circumstances.
The 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.
An audit ordered by Banda found that $30 million had been looted by officials in less than six months in 2013.
Dozens of civil servants, business people and politicians have been implicated in the scam.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :