Malawi cashgate convict to appeal sentence -lawyer

Convicted former tourism official Treza Namathanga Senzani sentenced to three years’ imprisonment with hard labour for the “Cashgate” – the worst financial scandal in Malawi’s history that led to the suspension of foreign aid, will launch an appeal against her sentence.

Senzani, 50, pleaded guilty to stealing K63 million ( about $150,000 or £93,000 ) from state coffers, and was condemned to three years behind bars for money laundering and theft.

Defence lawyer Nector Mhura plans to appeal the sentence.

For better and for jail: Senzani and her husband in court before seperating for prison sentence

For better and for jail: Senzani and her husband in court before seperating for prison sentence

Mhura told reporters that there was an “option of an appeal” , saying he was not happy because of the custodial sentence describing it as “harsh”.

The lawyer who is also a law lecturer at Chancellor College of  the University of Malawi, told  reporters after the sentencing that the law in Malawi was very clear on first offenders like Senzani, saying the primary consideration was for a non-custodial sentence.

He said his client should not have been sent to jail because she showed restitution by paying  back the money, pleaded guilty  so early without wasting court’s time and she will lose her job while chances of getting another job were slim.

Mhura said the “public interest outweigh the mitigating factors.”

Said Mhura: “My client pleaded guilty, she cooperated with court throughout the case and also returned the money which was stolen, and most importantly she is the first offender and according to the law, first offenders do not deserve such sentences, and we are not happy at all, because we had hoped she would get a suspended sentence.”

 

He said Senzani will launch an appeal in the Supreme Court against the custodial sentence.

“Despite being a first offender, she does not deserve a suspended sentence,” ruled judge Ivy Kamanga.

Justice Kamanga said that as a principal secretary, Senzani “was a custodian of money and willingly stole government money.”

“It was an illegal act that had an impact on the economy.”

The judge said Senzani “willingly” stole government money and she had no intention of returning the funds to state coffers. The judge called this an “illegal act” which affected the economy of the country as well as health systems because poor Malawians lacked medicines in hospitals because of the theft, whose monies could have been used to buy drugs.

Said the judge: “She corruptly performed her duties in favour of her company with intend to defraud the government and without authority.”

She said Visual Impact, which traded in electronics, did not have a contract with government.

Deputy director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB),  Reneck Matemba, who led the prosecution, said he was “contented” with the custodial sentence meted on the convict.

Western donor nations and agencies, which provide 40% of Malawi’s budget, pulled the plug on vital aid worth around $150m in reaction to the cashgate scandal.

Allegations of the massive looting of government money became public following the shooting of the finance ministry’s then budget director Paul Mphwiyo in September 2013.

 

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
kachinda moto
Guest

This thief must be put in jail its our tax money we working in Europe to help poor Malawians so that they too can have some food to eat withn their children.Through away the keys.

Jeremiah Mtama
Guest

let high court add years
there is some sort of stupidity in this case one day my freind stole only Mk1000000 but he payed back the money before the court and he was sentenced to 10 years

Sips
Guest

The poor taxpayer is milked of 30% of his monthly income so that some greedy people can plunder that money and live above average lives. Shame on you!

Professor Mtharika
Guest

Joke of the year! Let her appeal and let the supreme court add more years to her sentence. The bitch has no humanity in her,a lot of people been getting 5 year jail just because they stole a chicken. Now tell me you shameless bitch,,how many times does a chicken go into 63 mil?? Huh? After all,you stole more than that. You stole billions!

Peter Mathanyula Wakuba, formerly known as Obanda Joyce Ntilen
Guest
Peter Mathanyula Wakuba, formerly known as Obanda Joyce Ntilen

Mhura just go back to teaching wills and inheritance using those notes you prepared in 1988. Piece of shit!

gibsonkanyika
Guest

Lets wait and see the outcome of appear

Ma
Guest

Mhura dont cheat Senzani you just want to charge her a final invoice on appeal before she goes in the cooler hahahaaa . Is there anything to appeal here? Dont cheat people Mhura after all you dont even know law, mere teacher not professional lawyer.

ACHIMWENE SENZANI PEPANITU MUNAKWATIRA MBALA MAKWATIRAKWATIRAWA!!!

esnart yaluwera
Guest

Azimai akuba heavy I pray that Chinsinsi Kadzalaufa Kabambe gets a fair trial having swindled The Reserve Bank of Malawi. Timadabwatu ife.

Abiti Mtila
Guest

Let her appeal. The Supreme Court will add the years because it is a mockery for somebody who stole billions to be given 3 years. A mere suspect who wanted to steal at Saulos Chilima’s state lodge was given 6 years yet he did not steal anything! Traza Namathanga Senzani needs to be in prison for 15 years to deter would be offenders

Lomwepachakutipanu
Guest

Akapanga appeal, let the Supreme Court add more years to her sentence. Appealing ka 3 years komweko? This lady is a mthakati, ndi nkhwezule, mfiti, nalikukuti, phetelere plus your husband nonse ndinu zitsiru shupiti mbava inu. You made people die in hospitals, if you get released we will stone you to death, bastard.

wpDiscuz

More From Nyasatimes