Malawi cashgate prisoner Senzani seeks bail

Teresa Namathanga Senzani, the first person convicted in a 2013 government scandal involving corruption, looting and the theft of more than $30 million in public funds,  who was sentenced to a three-year jail  by the Malawi High Court  has applied for bail pending her appeal on sentencing.

Senzani made the application Monday in Lilongwe through her lawyer Necton Mhura.

But  Judge Ivy Kamanga said that it was disappointing to note that the prisoner’s lawyer had failed to provide copies of the application.

“The defence team need to go back to the drawing board, this is not good. Where are the papers and the rationale for the granting of the bail”? said Kamanga.

She therefore called on the lawyer to file the application again to the court.

Mhura said he will abide by the ruling and will file again the documents to court so that Senzani is granted bail.

Cashgate convicted prisoner Senzani: Seeks bail

Cashgate convicted prisoner Senzani: Seeks bail

“We made the application pending hearing of the appeal case. Our request is in line with the laws and I hope my client will be granted bail as we look forward to the appeal case,” Mhura said.

Mhura said the convict has a right to apply for bail under section 265 of criminal procedure of evidence code.

“Bail has been applied pending an appeal against sentence,” said Mhura.

According to legal experts, an admission to bail after conviction is not a matter of right but is at the discretion of the trial court and that an appeal must not be frivolous.

Senzani, the former principal secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, had pleaded guilty to stealing about $150,000  (about K63 million) in the financial scam, referred to in Malawi as the Cashgate scandal, which prompted donor partners to withdraw their budgetary support to the country.

Others said the three-year sentence given to Senzani is too lenient, and will not deter anyone from committing a similar offense.

“A punishment is a deterrent, otherwise if we have lenient sentences, chances are that we may not be dealing with the problem because people will calculate and conclude that perhaps it is worthwhile taking a risk of being in prison for three years and thereafter enjoy millions of dollars that were stolen from government coffers,” said Ernest Thindwa, a political science lecturer at the Chancellor College of the University of Malawi.

Human rights campaigner Billy Banda faults the system of using the courts to handle these corruption cases.

“Administration of justice should have been done through Truth and Reconciliation, and all those that would be convicted and all those that would voluntarily agree that they had taken a hand in the loot and allowed to pay back the money that would be recovered would be committed to other essential areas to service the plight of citizenry in the country,” Banda said.

Mhura contends the High Court Judge Ivy Kamanga should have handed a suspended sentence to his client because she had pleaded guilty and therefore did not waste time for the court.

He  also believes the sentence should have been lenient because the convict is a first offender and that charges placed against her were not ‘severe’.

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39 thoughts on “Malawi cashgate prisoner Senzani seeks bail”

  1. nickorass says:

    she do have right of granting abail coz no one is above the law

  2. upile kulekangana says:

    But why only this lady? There are many cashgaters waloking freely

  3. Mwenecho says:

    agaime is being played here

  4. Nyamamphwisa says:

    I am very surprised with this lawyer at the first to you advised amai to plead guilty and now see she is still around in court. Then you leave behind papers mpakana judge kukalipa. Next time choose good lawyers like achina kadzipatiche or achina Kita they know the dirty game and come out victors.

  5. chodabwitsa ndi chakuti anthuwa alipo ambiiiili koma mukukakamila munthumodzi whay? Komaso$zo zinasowa koma kuno kumudzi palibe zinasintha

  6. john muhulele says:

    She has the right as every citizen to appeal and be granted bail.She admitted in court to be on the wrong side and the public funds plundered have actually been paid back is this not substantive evidence of repentance for wrong doing.To error is human

  7. chimzy says:

    anthu ambiri amamwalira chifukwa cha anthu ngati amenewo.Asatulutsidwe.

  8. Atuganire says:

    Asikana tonse amene sitinabereke akufuna kwabwino tiyeni tipitise bubble bath mu ma pail ku Maula amayi azizathu akave kukoma kwa ma sweet aroma…it is Happy Mothers’ Day, Aaa remember ? Tweet me at [email protected] tipangane zochita….tizizakuwonani pafupi pafupi amayi Senzani. Koma bail yo iyayi!

    Counsel [Nector Mhura] close the file please do you still want to continue milking the prisoner? Where is your professional integrity? What you are doing is legal cashgate, longosokani asaaa!

  9. Ndende anamangira amphawi basi,olemera amakhala ndi ufulu,Mulungu dalisani malawi,munalenga munthu aliyense kut ali level imozi koma za nziko izi aaaa chomcho.

  10. Ndende anamangira amphawi basi,olemera amakhala ndi ufulu,Mulungu dalisani malawi,munalenga munthu aliyense kut ali level imozi koma za nziko izi aaaa chomcho

  11. Rompwa says:

    3yrs kuyiona kuchuluka! Ena akumangidwa 5yrs chifukwa choba mbuzi. Mayi mulibe pabwino.

  12. Wodzitsata says:

    Ooooh plan yanu inali imeneyi eeti?

  13. BOBOLONGWE says:

    mponyeni mdzenje lakuya adapha anthu ambiri ameneyu.

  14. Nankungwi says:

    No bail! people died because of this! people are sufering because of this irrespeonsible behaviour! she does not deserve bail!

  15. Charter says:

    Billy kusangalala kuti anthu akufa kusowa mankhwala? How can you suggest an issue of theft is a human rights issue? What about those whose rights are deprived because of the theft? Plead guilty of innocent, she has to serve the sentence. She did not hand the money back on free will, she was caught with it – otherwise that money would be gone!

  16. Penu says says:

    Mayiyo tamuganizirani pa pempho lake .Iyeyutu ndi munthu woyambirira kuvomereza zankhaniyi.

    1. nita says:

      Iwe unadya naye eti! Anavomeleza ataona kuti zafika posauzana. Nanga anathandizapo a malawi omwe ankafa mzipatala kuwatumiza ku SA?

  17. za says:

    timadziwa zizitelo mabelo koma osauka mwati kaya chiyani zokondelana basi tiona mphezi dzuwa munazionapo enu majaji musamale tatopa ndizopusa!!

  18. khamani!! says:

    Bail after a conviction? Are you out of your minds ?

  19. Hazrat Pillane says:

    I thought this woman was getting vip treatment at Maula? Doesnt make sense to apply for bail and then go back again after the appeal fails, Should just get used to how you shall be leaving for 3 years or more if supreme judge decides otherwise.

  20. ulula anzizako basi muzikalimbikitsana ku ndendeko kutiso muzikagawana ma bumbu bola zaka zimachepako koma choncho eeeee mukasova

  21. Zanga Phe! says:

    Maybe next government will abolish this issue not DPP mark my word,see my name.

  22. nita says:

    Akatuluka awona chomwe chinameta nkhanga mpala. Awotchedwa ndi nyumba zake zomwezo. Apo bii onse ali mu ndende kuvutika aja, atulukenso apatsidwe bail.

    How special is she kuti apatsidwe bail, wakuba ndi wakuba basi. Anzake anazolowera fungo ku ndende uko nde iyeyo ndi ndani pamene anabanso zoposa akuvutikawo?

  23. Abk says:

    money buys the freedom but not always. whatever happens she will still remain a prisoner for the rest of her life as she will continue being haunted by the wailing souls. in the end she will be more useful to us dead than alive.

  24. jedi says:

    If she goes out on bail, I think she won’t set foot in court again. She won’t know what’s gonna hit her ……

    Justice for the rich and poor aint the same

  25. west says:

    achuma samangidwa

  26. Federationist says:

    Oh oh oh I guess we aint seen nothing yet with these cashgate thieves and their Lawyers! Koma ameneyu ali ku prison kapena akugwila ukaidi woyendela ie sleep at,at her Bunda mansion and drive to Maula to be inside prison walls during day? If this bail application fails believe me she will be admitted at City Centre clinic feigning the usual illness then released on health grounds

  27. the abductor says:

    Dont you know the implications of being a thief? So bail for what?

  28. mukatelo mukuweta mbavaaaa.

  29. munyapa says:

    akatuluka tingomunyenga ngati mmene necton mhura akumunyengelamu kuti adziwe chilungamo chenicheni galu ameneyu.

  30. Bwenzi says:

    God shall judge us truthfuly. We’re not staying on earth 4ever, lucky r those that reach hundred. We r all thieves and some r heartless. Let’s change our behavior Malawi, let’s change 4 better. Democracy that Kamuzu feared is this: that can steal they s/he wants without fear. All the wealth were accumulate 2day in evil our children shall sell them. Question 2 all of us: if u were P/S of tourism wouldn’t u steal? What about those that r burnt 4 stealing plates/goats/dvd players in our homes? People am saying we steal fuel @ office, what about immigration/rtd/MRA zinyengo; stadium cashgate? Zinyengo zolowetsa ana mmasukulu; akhotinso mukudya ndalama za magazi. Tiyeni tisinthe, Mulungu alipodi

  31. Sosten Gwengwe says:

    Akulu akulu let’s unite and beat up this lawyer called Mhura. He is a disgrace to our judiciary. Convict apatsidwe bail? That would mean an end to the jail term knowing the delays that our courts do. It is Mhura who is a nuisance in the whole matter. Judge amene apereke bail yo, Mhura and the convict herself should all be beaten or killed. How special is she that she can not be in prison? Achina Kambalame anagwira bwanji ukaidi for similar offences? Shit. Mukati sanavute ku khoti what do u mean? Kodi kupanda kugwidwa ndalama zathu anabazo akanabwezera kuti? Shupiti!

  32. Moya says:

    As much as I pity her bcoz I know maula isn’t Good place to be but releasing her will send a wrong signal or precedent for such a serious case. Remember many people died due to lack of medicine so this is as good as homicide case

  33. Need to reduce sentence to 1.5 or less. Mukhululukilereni munthu wa mai. Others fellows can lern to give back the money for a lesser sentence. Chonde chonde

  34. munyepu says:

    kundeko kulibe madzi otawashira? Sentence imenei iwonjezeredwe!

  35. Tengupenya says:

    The sentence handed down to the cash gate convict is quite lenient! If justice prevails, then the appeal could lead to an enhancement of the sentence. Seeking bail is also testing or taking fore granted public reaction too far. When push gains momentum to become shove, the consequences on the safety of the convict and others may be unnecessarily put to risk of mob justice, judging by the cursory comments in the public domain. The convict and her legal counsel of course know better what is best for lawyer and client. The public also knows best what is the balance of justice in grave matters of serious public concern. Innocent lives have been and are being lost to the cash gate impact. It is folly of the highest order for public servants in positions of trust who stole public funds to ignore lenient processing by the criminal justice administration and with impunity seek more leniency.

  36. Kelvin says:

    Akatelo watuluka bas moyo nd okondera uwu. Kukhala osauka waba nkhuku 6 yrs zovuta zedi

  37. Nkasai says:

    Akatuluka awotchedwe

    1. Tengupenya says:

      playing with public reaction to court leniency in any of the cash gate cases …

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