Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested lawyer Ishmael Chioko in relation to the “cashgate” scandal, a systematic looting of public money, Nyasa Times has learnt.
ACB confirmed the arrest of Chioko, saying he was nabbed following leads after the arrest of the country’s former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo and his wife Thandi
Chioko arrests comes after politician Hophmally Makande handed himself in to the graft busting body when he learnt that a warrant of arrest for him was obtained.
ACB deputy director Reyneck Matemba has said the graft busting body was out to make more arrests.
Nyasa Times also understands that an arrest warrant has been obtained against former ruling People’s Party (PP) official, Ephraim Chibvunde.
Chibvunde is PP’s Deputy Director of Political Affairs.
Investigators from the ACB quizzed Chibvunde on various issues in connection to the ‘Cash-Gate’ scandal.
Others reportedly on the arrests radar include former ministers Brown Mpinganjira and Henry Phoya.
Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu said new wave of arrests will involve high profile personalities suspected to have played a role in the plundering of public coffers at Capital Hill.
Tembenu said: “The evidence that we have uncovered is clear that the fraud was properly and meticulously planned, carefully coordinated and skilfully executed.”
Mphwiyo who was arrested on Saturday for money laundering charges, is on record telling the High Court that former justice minister Ralph Kasambara ( already answering cashgate related charges) through Pika Manondo, Kasambara’s friend Patrick Gadama popularly known as ‘Gada’ and former spokesperson of the People’s Party (PP) Hophmally Makande are individuals who were pressurising him to approve payments to some companies, among them Glens Waterways and Deco/Terrastone which was claiming K9 billion.
He said the Secretary to the Treasury told him not to honour the payments as they were claimed in bad faith.
Mphwiyo told the court that Pika and Gada, sent by Kasambara, went to his house several times where he was told that if he did not make the payment, he would lose his life and they would make it look like a deal gone sour.
But a call from then minister of Information and Civic Education Brown Mpinganjira that he had been informed by Kasambara that he was refusing to approve the payments prompted him to go to Kasambara and tell him that he would not be intimidated.
Mphwiyo, whose shooting incident on September 13 last year at the entrance of his home at night opened a pandoras box that led to Cashgate, was being used as a State witness in the shooting incident and money laundering cases.
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