Businessman and Cashgate suspect Oswald Lutepo has written a letter to Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale complaining that Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Bruno Kalemba intimidated him to implicate former justice minister Ralph Kasambara in the attempted murder of former treasury official Paul Mphwiyo.
In the letter dated July 17, 2014, Lutepo has also accused former justice minister Fahadi Assani and prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu of professional misconduct and abuse of office over the way they forced him to write false witness statements and caution statements under duress.
Kalemba and Nyusulu could not immediately react but said they will respond to the claims to the appropriate authorities whiles Assani has brushed aside the accusation as figment of “imaginations”.
Lutepo, who confirmed to Nyasa Times authoring the letter to the Attorney General, was on Interpol list when Mphwiyo was shot and Cashgate scandal break out as he was away in Dubai. He spoke to Nyasa Times at that time and claimed he was on a business trip.
He claims Assani persuaded him to return home and hand himself over to authorities as he assured him of VIP treatment that he will only be in custody for a maximum of three days.
“He passed on the phone to Mr. Bruno Kalemba who assured me of the same; and advised me that they were acting on Presidential directives. Again they assured me that I was to testify against the following Senior Accountants: Messrs Kazombo Mwale, Fletcher Kaizo and Madzi,” claims Lutepo in his correspondence to Attorney General..
“On my arrival I was indeed accorded free passage all the way to Area 30 Police Headquarters where I surrendered myself to Police. It was at the Police Headquarters where I was told in no uncertain terms that the Government was after the former Minister of Justice, Ralph Kasambara. I was told that I should cooperate to ensure that Ralph Kasambara was implicated in the Cashgate cases,” claims Lutepo.
Lutepo, in the letter explains, when he was taken to Zomba prison, he was told to meet another Cashgate and Mphwiyo shooting suspect Pika Manondo who had also handed himself to police.
“I met Pika Manondo on Saturday 9th November, 2013 at Zomba Maximum Security Prison. The meeting was arranged so that we should strategize on how Mr Manondo was to implicate Mr Ralph Kasambara on the shooting of Paul Mphwiyo and myself on Cashgate cases,” he informs the Attorney General.
Lutepo said the meeting was held in the absence of any security officer but Police detective Maurice Makwinja pleaded with him to ensure that he “pump sense” into Manondo to ensure that he agrees to implicate Kasambara.
“After a lengthy discussion with Mr Manondo, we both resolved that we would only testify if we were to say the truth and not create lies,” said Lutepo, noting that Manondo “smelt of alcohol.”
Lutepo said he was instructed by Assani to engage lawyer Jai Banda and Manondo also received similar instructions from Kalemba.
He said the initial arrangement was that he would be a State Witness against Senior Public Officers who the State believed were responsible for the massive plundering of public resources. The officers mentioned e were: Roosevelt Ndovi, Dr. Kazombo Mwale, Kaizo, Mr. Madzi, G N Banda and some Accountants serving at the Office of the President and Cabinet and Accountant General.
In mid-December, 2013 during the meeting with Kalemba, the top prosecutor produced a sworn affidavit purportedly written by Charles Chalunda alleging that Lutepo had master minded the shooting of Mphwiyo.
“After reading the affidavit the meeting was adjourned because I had broken down crying. When the meeting reconvened the DPP told me that there was a Presidential directive that I should implicate Mr. Ralph Kasambara and his allies; and that failure to do so would lead to my arrest, charging and remanding on conspiracy to murder Paul Mphwiyo. He further warned me that he would ensure that I was remanded like Mr Pika Manondo and never released on bail,” claims Lutepo.
He also claimed that the State will force Mr Paul Mphwiyo to re-write a third statement implicating me. He boasted that they had already forced him to withdraw his initial statement and replace it with another implicating Mr Kasambara and his boys. Therefore, forcing him to issue yet another one implicating me would not be hard.
Lutepo said he was ordered to comply with all instructions as dictated to him by the Police through the then Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) Nelson Bophani.
“During the four months period from the end of December 2013 to March 2014, I was on numerous occasions summoned by various Police Officers and forced under duress to write statements implicating various individuals. I was usually forced to write three or four statements on any given activity.
“Two senior officers who can possibly verify that I wrote these false statements under duress are the then Deputy Head of CID, Mrs Ngami and Head of Fiscal and Fraud division of Police Mr Bonongwe.”
He cited false that he was forced to sign without verifying included the one claiming that lawyers Raphael Kasambara and Wapona Kita forced him to claim the cash in the Sithole money laundering case.
“This statement was forced upon me by Mr Kamudoni Nyasulu who was in the company of Mr Makwinja of CID Police. This was contrary to statements that we (Daniel Zimba, Elvis Nserebo, Chikumbutso Mwela and me) had given to the Police and ACB.”
He also disowned his statements that all proceeds from the Mzuzu City Assembly projects which was under the Office of the President and Cabinet and the fencing of Liwonde National Park under the Ministry of Tourism were given to Manondo for onward transmission to Kasambara.
“This statement was false and totally unbelievable. In the first place, at the time of receipt of the funds I fully believed that these were genuine payments for valid projects. I only discovered to the contrary later on. Secondly how could one steal money and give all of it to another person through a third party,” reads Lutepo letter.
The statement that he issued a MK 55 million cheque to Ralph and Arnold Associates for the benefit of Kasambara, Lutepo said is “utterly false” as he was forced to claim that the funds were proceeds from Ministry of Tourism and OPC.
“The transactions were in August and September 2013 and yet the cheque in question was issued in July 2013. How could one disburse ‘stolen’ cash before the actual ‘stealing’? The truth was that this payment was Mr Pika Manondo’s share of a business investment he had made for a deal to supply assorted items to ESCOM procured from China and also an investment made by his Midrand based associate for procurement of items at Army Surplus Shop in Pretoria and delivered to the Malawi Defence Force,” explains Lutepo.
He added: “The statement that I had given MK200 million cash to former Inspector General of Police, Mr Peter Mukhito at Area 30 Petroda Filling Station. I had been forced to falsely claim that the funds were given to him in the presence of his wife and twin daughters. The statement was false and written under duress. I have never given cash or met or spoken to Mr Mukhito in my entire life.”
Lutepo asks the state top lawyer to withdraw his statement as they were obtained from him in “violation of my constitutional rights.”
Attorney General reportedly summoned Kalemba over the allegations contained in the Lutepo correspondence but refused to discuss the matter in the media.
The 36-year-old son of primary school teachers (both father and mother), Osward went to Namitete Secondary School. Although he did not make it to university, he concentrated on professional training until he found himself at the University of Malawi, the Polytechnic, and later earned an MBA.
Lutepo owns Naming’omba Tea and Macadamia Estates Limited (Chairman), Chloride Batteries Ltd., Spare Giants Ltd., O and G Construction Company, WOGET Cooking Oil Company, WOGET Cotton Ginning Company Ltd., and Flexi Mail Ltd.
Soon after his secondary school, Lutepo joined Surfair Limited, a clearing and shipping company where he spent some five years with the company while he was learning how to establish his own company.
He established his first entrepreneurial venture in 2001 called OSK Clearing Agency and just within few years built his empire, owning several companies.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :