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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nickorass
Guest

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

upile kulekangana
Guest

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

Mwenecho
Guest

agaime is being played here

Nyamamphwisa
Guest

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.

mayamiko matapa
Guest

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

john muhulele
Guest

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

chimzy
Guest

anthu ambiri amamwalira chifukwa cha anthu ngati amenewo.Asatulutsidwe.

Atuganire
Guest

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!

The Country Chief
Guest

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

The Country Chief
Guest

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

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