Justice Ivy Kamanga on Monday did not pass the sentencing of top tourism ministry official Treza Namathanga Senzani who is the first convict in the so-called “Cashgate” scandal that led to the suspension of foreign aid has been shifted to Monday, October 6 as she adjourned it to Tuesday.
The judge on Monday kept changing the times for three until after 5pm when she called to the chambers both counsels for defence and prosecution to personally apologise for the delay and request that she makes the ruling Tuesday.
The lawyers accepted her request.
Justice Kamanga told the court in the late afternoon that she was ready with the sentencing but could not complete delivering, saying she could sit long as she had slipped disc problem.
Reneck Matemba, deputy director of the Anti Corruption Bureau who has been prosecuting the case said the judge had been taken ill and she was not fit to deliver her much-awaited judgement.
Senzani pleaded guilty to stealing around $150,000 (63 million kwacha) from state coffers, part of a broader swindle worth at least $30 million and was convicted on her own guilty plea.
Nyasa Times understands that her swift guilty plea has been a “ bargain” for non custodial sentence. She is likely going to get a suspended jail term.
However, observers said the precedent of jail sentences of former minister Yusuf Mwawa and former Blantyre City Mayor John Chikakwiya may haunt Senzani.
Chikakwiya was sentenced to three years and two months in jail for stealing a K400,000 donation to rehabilitate a road in Machinjiri, Blantyre. Chikakwiya though there was full restitution.
He brought K350,000 to the court and produced receipts for the costs he had incurred for the
Nanjiriri road project. He bought cement worth K47,000 and fuel for K3,000.
Former Malawi education minister Yusuf Mwawa was sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour for abuse of office and nine months for theft by public servant.
Mwawa was convicted for corruptly and fraudulently using 170, 000 Malawi Kwacha (from the ministry of education to meet wedding expenses when he took his new wife, Diana.
Although the former minister denied all the four charges, he offered to refund the money to government. He refunded the money.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :