Malawi ‘cash-gate’ scandal started during Bingu era – court records

Records at the Lilongwe Magistrate Court have revealed that plundering of public money at Capital Hill which has recently seen arrest of several public officers, started during the reign of President Bingu wa Mutharika.

A charge sheet on one of those arrested Lloyd Banda, a husband to one of the supsects Martha Banda, indicates that the fraudulent transactions that the wife is being accused of were made between November 3, 2008 and December 21, 2010 and bear dubious of payments ranging from K700,000 to K2.5 million.

During that period at times over eight dubious cheques were being cashed in a day, according to the court charge sheet.

Government introduced the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) which has been blamed for the plunder in 2005 during Mutharika’s reign. President Mutharika died in April 2012 when President Joyce Banda and her Peoples’ Party (PP) took over power from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Lloyd Banda:

Lloyd Banda: His fraudlent transactions started in 2008

This new revelation is an indication that although the two administrations have been pushing blame to each other with mostly the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) saying that it is not involved in the plunder, it is apparent that none of them is clean so far.

Apart from  this transaction neither the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) nor government has been coming out with specifics as to when various offences were committed despite that almost everyday public officers are being netted.

Banda was arrested alongside his house servant Robert Ngunga for trying to take out house belongings including payment vouchers connected to his wife’s illicit dealings.

And when he appeared before Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Ruth Chinangwa on Tuesday, Banda was denied bail after the State observed that it would be approapriate for him to remain in custody to enable investigators complete their job without obstruction.

Banda’s wife, an accountant at Accountant General’s office was arrested in connection with suspected theft of K96 million and when the police searched her house they found K7.8 million cash but the law enforcers were tipped that the husband had moved a travelling bag to another of the couple’s house.

Addressing a news conference in Blantyre upon arrival from United States where she has been away for three weeks , President Joyce Banda  also said previous governments of Bingu wa Mutharika and Bakili Muluzi were tolerating corruption during the time of their reign but she is  tackling the vice.

“Corruption has been going on for the past 20 years or so. In fact, the recent K61 billion saga [Bingu wa Mutharika case] and K404 million cases woke me up, on the plunder in the government. It’s obvious that public funds have been lost through fraud and corruption,” she said, adding “And I wish to ask that these investigations should resume.”

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