‘Looterpol’ accuses State of using him: Malawi chief cashgater bitter

Convicted cashgate businessman Osward Lutepo has expressed his unreserved bitterness over his lengthy custodial sentence unleashed on him, accusing State prosecutors of using him , saying they were only desperate to represent to the world that government was making progress when in fact they want to victimise a few individuals.

Lutepo: Why always 'used'?

Lutepo: Why always ‘used’?

Lutepo has also not spared the medical doctor who wrote his medical report presented during the trial which indicated his wheelchair ride has no basis of him not being unfit and unwell.

“I accept that my involvement to cashgate has affected many Malawians,” said Lutepo as he starts his 11 years jail term at Mikuyu Prison in Zomba.

Lutepo blames the State prosecutors – Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) deputy director Reyneck Matemba and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale of using him “to exaggerate the outcome of the case which has actually worked to their advantage.”

“In this case, it shows that a few of us are going to pay for the sins of many,” said Lutepo.

He again said he was also used in the cashgate affair.

“ The outcome of the case portrays me as the worst sinner and yet I was only used as a conduit,” said Lutepo.

But Matemba dismissed Lutepo’s claims of foul play as “baseless”.

During the cashgate trial, Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale while practising as private lawyer representing  27-year-old  Victor Sithole, who was convicted for being in possession of large amounts of money, including $31 800 and 122 400 South African rand in hard cash, exposed Lutepo’s damaged credibility.

Lutepo had testified against Sithole on behalf of State when he told the Lilongwe Magistrate’s court that former Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara forced him to sign court documents to claim that the k122 million cash found in Sithole’s possession belonged to him.

He said he knew Kasambara as his legal adviser although he mostly dealt with another lawyer Wapon Kita, who worked in Kasambara’s law firm.

But in cross-examination Kaphale, faulted Lutepo’s testimony on the grounds that as an educated man with Business Empire and legally exposed, Lutepo could not be pressured to sign for court documents knowing the legal implications of such an action.

“Are you an idiot Mr Lutepo?” Kaphale quizzed Lutepo, a former Peoples Party official.

The lawyer questioned Lutepo’s integrity saying his actions and statement were not befitting that of a holder of a master of business administration and a graduate of University of Malawi.

Kaphale called Lutepo “stupid” saying he could not be have succeeded to own businesses such as Naming’omba Tea Estate ad Woget which are worth billions of kwacha with such type of “stupidity”

“Can you confirm to the court that the minister of justice was not your superior, or your business partner, cousin or your uncle? If lam to give you book and tell you to go to court and tell them it’s yours, would you do it?” Kaphale quizzed Lutepo.

Lutepo replied in the negative to all questions, insisting “I signed the documents because I was under pressure from Minister [Kasambara]”.

The cashgate convict also claimed to reporters that he was used by former president Joyce Banda as a conduit in the cashgate.

He had placed his hopes of smearing Banda as a bargaining tactic to avoid custodial sentence.

Lutepo also said that the medical report about him presented in court was not a true reflection of his health status, arguing that the one who wrote it was aware that he would not be cross examined in court and had nothing to fear about or lose.

He told journalists that the nurses who were attending to him were better placed to tell his health condition.

The free speaking Lutepo also claimed that the judgment given to him was influenced by other factors and that the Judge ignored some relevant facts in sentencing him, further claiming that the Judge might have done that just to “make a name”.

Lutepo has been convicted on two counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud MK 4.2 billion from government coffers in the infamous Malawi cash-gate scandal.

He has, however, stated that he will cooperate to tell the nation the truth so that everybody involved is brought before justice.

Lutepo joins other high profile convicts in hen names of former Tourism Principal Secretary Teresa Senzani and his Assistant Director Leonard Kalonga.

Before the judgment, lawyer for the accused, Oswald Ntupila, argued in that his client deserves a lenient sentence because he was a first offender, has been remorseful and cooperative to give information that will assist to arrest and prosecute beneficiaries in the ongoing cash-gate investigations.

The defence counsel also said the judge should consider Lutepo because of his restitution of his companies valued at MK380 Million but the prosecution team led by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mary Kachale, counter argued that Lutepo rather deserved stiff punishment because of the nature of the offence.

The prosecution team said that the offence of money laundering was a serious one considering that it has led to social and economic hardships on innocent Malawians with shortage of drugs in hospitals due to underfunding as a result of cash-gate.

The state was looking up to 10 years as being fit for Lutepo.

The Judge said that going by the parliamentary proceeding record, it was clear that cash gate has an impact on the Malawi economy and that it has shrunk.

He also noted that the case in which Lutepo was answering was a major serious one, since he had gone through many African and Malawian law reports and judgments and never found a case of money laundering of that magnitude in terms of the money involved.

The Court observed that Lutepo was a major player in the cash-gate which had two categories; including the highly strategically positioned politicians and secondly the top civil servants and business persons, selfish and greedy who had formed the criminal enterprise network to defraud government resources at the expense of poor Malawians, as such required a befitting sentencing.

The judge observed Lutepo voluntarily joined the criminal enterprise although he was educated and a successful business man adding that he could not consider his plea of guilty as genuine because it was not done at the onset of the case and had also made some applications showing resisting to guilty of the case.

The court pointed out that the accused had feigned insanity that government had to spend to call for a psychiatric to test him a thing he said was a waste of time and resources which nullifies his argument on plea of guilty.

The judge also said that Lutepo has failed to provide evidence on his health status, where he has been confined to a chair and reading his medical report details from a hospital expert where he was attended, it indicate Lutepo was able to wear his trousers a sign that he had power and strength in his legs.

But Lutepo told journalists that the medical report was not accurate as the doctor who wrote the report based his findings on verbal interrogation and not physical outlook because the doctor had never attended to him.

The court, however, gave credit to Lutepo for being bold and bravery to reveal the names of the beneficiaries of the cash-gate money especially politicians in court which the Judge said could not be revealed in court but the state can take further action from the records to bring the culprits mentioned to book.

When passing the Judgement Redson Kapindu said MK 4.2 billion involved in Lutepo matter was unquestionably so huge that the case was unprecedented in money laundering criminal cases in the country.

“The case has bad dent on society. Public pulse severely squeezed and there will be long effects on output and employment, prices exchange rates, interest rates resulting in shrunk economy and most importantly Malawians are those suffering now at the expense of few cash-gate beneficiaries,” the learned Judge said.

Kapindu also observed that the state is now investing money on trials and upgrading the IFMIS and worse still the public service delivery have collapsed due to cash-gate consequences.

Therefore, he said without withstanding the convicts’ plea of guilty and other arguments the punishment that was fit was the custodial in order to give lesson to others who may be involved in very huge money and even support terrorism in future.

Judge Kapindu sentenced Lutepo to 8 years Imprisonment with Hard labour on money laundering offence contrary to section 35 (1) C of Money Laundering and Terrorism Act and on second count of Conspiracy to defraud contrary section 323 of the penal code, a maximum of 3 years totaling to 11 years in prison for Lutepo.–Additional reporting by Zawadi Chilunga, Nyasa Times

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31 thoughts on “‘Looterpol’ accuses State of using him: Malawi chief cashgater bitter”

  1. Josephs Sande wa kwa Goliati says:

    Seriously my gray matter is unable to swallow this. Lutepo remember u havn’t been stable from the begining, over-changing of statements. Anyway, c u afta 11 years.

  2. Che Ngana says:

    Kutereku Unkaona Ngati Ukatchula Za Joyce Boma Likutaya Kumalimbana Ndi Joyce.Iwe Nkhuku Eti.Boma La Dpp Tu Lilibe Naye Ntchito Amene Uja Akamangidwa Amangidwila Zake Osati Kuti Bola Likumulonda.Ma Style Anu Athumbusuka Lero Tiyeni Zitchulanani.Nanu A Joyce Mutengerepo Phunziro Vuto Locheza Ndi Ana Amakutola Uchitsiru Chonchi.

  3. Akuba okhaokha kupititsana ku ndende.

  4. Kevin jackson says:

    Ma judge athu, kuweruza mwachindunji. Tiyeni nawo osawasiya ayi, ankayesa ndi masewera.

  5. amina says:

    Why did you accept to be used. Were you the only person within. Anthu ena kunalibe okuti akanawagwilitsa ntchito imeneyo if iweyo umawakonda nthawi imeneyo a Malawi. Munthu wophunzila ngati iwe sukanalola tha!!! half. Umadziwa kuti ukuvutitsa miyoyo yosalakhwa lero a Mbuye ayankha ndi la foti ili. Chowuluka chili chonse chidzatera iwe lero watera basi. Paja a Malawi timamva nkhwangwa ili pa mutu. Tiyeni nazo.

  6. Mlauzi says:

    Uyu angolongolayu just keep him under lock and key. By the way I thought I heard that Mikuyu Prison was closed? Why send him there at all? Mukufuna muzimupatsa preferential treatment without any prying eyes. Why not incarcerate him at Zomba maximum prison or even Penu Prison in Nsanje?

  7. Chinyanga says:

    The guy failed to play his cards well hence sticking to his “amandiyuza” syndrome & now he still tries to buy sympathy from the very same malawians he took advantage of. Mr Lutepo, I dont blame u, I dont even blame those whom u formed the looting team with neither do I blame the judicial system…..I just blame the BLAME itself for its existence. Hop its time to dance to the tune of your own music. How I wish i could see others of your calibar following u.

  8. Commissioner of Truths says:

    Lutepo. Where is this ape from? District?

  9. Daniel Phiri says:

    This idiot is not showing any remorse

  10. walero says:

    Za 92billion iwalani ndipo zisiyeni coz kunalibe this casgate.zikanakhala zoonadi nthawi imene kunatuluka nkhani imeneyi bwenzi JB atawamanga onse a app nkuwaponya mndende,tisaiwalenso kuti paja inali nthawi ya campaign.JB anangofuna kuipisa mbiri ya anzake poti yake inali itada kale.a Malawi anzanga cashgate ya 92billion njaboza kulibe sinachitike kafunseni a Reserve Bank akakuuzani ndanenazi.

  11. nankungwi says:

    Kodi ma Masters a masi ano ndi otenga ndi zitsiru zomwe eti? when they were usaing you as a conduit for defrauding the contry why did you not say no? why did you not wonder? waht measures did you take to make sure that even those that were making do these things would also be found out if you were all caught?

    As far as I am concrned ALL of you have made Malawi suffer and you ALL deserve to be in jail for much longer thna 11yeara You are lucky I am not the judge!

    Please can we have our money back? Go to this man’s home and collect all his property so that the country can recoup some os its lost revenue

  12. There is time to sow and there is time to reap what you have sowed.Thus wrote the wisest king Solomon.

  13. magangani says:

    Lutepo mbava osamuvera chisoni

  14. Phwado says:

    Lutepo stole more than that.The courts and govt know this..He built lots of houses including that of her concubine Lonie in Naperi opposite Soche SDA.He deserved death penalty.His relatives are openly challenging that he won’t suffer in prison because they will be spending mmillions for his comfort.He still has billions being kept by his relatives and wives.

  15. MOKHIWA says:

    ITS TOO LATE NOW MBAVA LUTEPO SIR !!

    TO SPILL THE BEANS #

    DO YOU CAL THAT SPILLING THE BEANS ?

  16. Wakwandewo waku mlowe says:

    Lutepo walanga dziko lathu….why…why…how…how…. Will donors trust us any more?

  17. legal b says:

    Tikufuna report la DPP-92b kwacha to win donner confidence otherwise this will just be taken as a political gimmick. But its a gud stat!

  18. Who paid Lutepo from the government side? Who signed payment vouchers and cheques? That is the missing part of the jig-saw puzzle. Have you investigated the property of public servants mostly houses in Lilongwe? Civil servants are still stealing the money.

  19. GRM says:

    We should find ways to ensure nothing of this sort is happening now or will happen in future. If not Looterpols will be all over and we will continue to be looserpols

  20. ... says:

    Ati walemba kalata yopepesa ku mtundu wa amalawi.
    Ndipo waonjezera mkalatamo kuti Boma lilipoli linamuyuza ngati condomu pomukakamiza kuti anene kuti JB zikumukhuza.

    Koma chipani cha K577 billion cashgetichi.

  21. Professor Chipsenthe wa Mavuzi says:

    Looterpol u deserve death By hanging together with Namaloko and Gocho Khumbo Kchali. How many malawians suffered and continuing suffering (dying) coz of your senseless mafiasm. Shupit

  22. Dr Mbewe says:

    Thank you Judge Kapindu

  23. mtengowagwa says:

    kungovomeleza tchimo basi tizakaso tachepapo apa,azanu mumadyanawo aja akuthawani lero tiyeni nazo wakhala winawe kayazanu izo ndidyera lanu.ndalama munali nazo zanu koma asakhutitsidwa.

  24. mwanyembe waku bank yofira says:

    Wafa basi

  25. GVH Kabuye, Dedza, MALAWI says:

    Lutepo you can not accuse the professional doctors who examined you. Forensic Psychiatric Reports are not written by the doctors alone. It is a team that write them and the Chief Psychiatrist is the one who signs and take responsibility of their team efforts. The nurses compile their observations, an occupational therapists also compile theirs, the psychiatric clinical officers also compile their observations, the clinical psychologist also does her part. The psychiatrists also do theirs. then they meet behind your back and they debate freely all observations to make a logical flow of facts and see whether they make scientific sense to whether one is fit to withstand trial or otherwise. By the way its very stupid for you to say that Dr. Felix C Kauye does not know what he does. He went through a gruesome 4 years to study medical sciences at St. Andrews University Scotland, Qualified as a Medical Doctor at both University College London and College of Medicine, 4 years at University of Cape Town, just to study thieves like you, and 3 years PhD at the University of London. So what bullshit are you talking about. It is obvious you do not know what you are talking about. If you corrupted the nurses ndiye anangokudyera ndalama and if possible tell us who ate your money a d claimed a good report naye so timufufuze bwino

  26. Truck says:

    ITS REALLY DRAMA! DRAMA! STOLEN MONEY ITS SATAN EH!

  27. Mapiri says:

    Lutepo shud revealed all the names. It’s also sad that Kaphale could not believe that Lutepo was pressurised to sign documents. Remember Raph belongs to a mafia group. He might have bn threatened. It’s also interesting how Kaphale who represented Lutepo in the initial stages of the case could poke fun at him. That’s why I don’t trust lawyers. They can turn against you.

  28. kkkkkkkkkk says:

    mr lutepo was used by state to smear Joice Banda now it has backfired kkkkk

  29. Mzee says:

    Bambo kapindu congrats but try to be honest at times kodi sunasiye bodza laku college. Yes Lutepo stole billions in MK but dont say its the worst in Africa. In Kenya the Goldberg scandal cost kenya USD860,000,000 or MK498,000,000,000. The Lutepos should have used Bingus style not zachibwana zawozo. I personally dont believe JB was part of the thieving gang. As president she had many avenues for stealing just as APM is doing with Mota Engil now.

  30. choncho says:

    he was used to implicate JB koma he has now been dumped.

  31. cypress says:

    Birds of a feather flock together. JB was a PP member. He was also a thief. All PP members are also thieves. Case closed.

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