The Lilongwe High Court has thrown out an appeal case of cashgate convict Esnart Nenani Ndovie and maintain the three years prison sentence meted by Lilongwe Senior resident magistrate Patrick Chirwa was in due proportion.
Businessperson Ndovi was convicted on her own plea of guilty over a Cashgate transaction amounting to K12.9 million ($23,035).
Ndovi was also found guilty on her own plea to charges of lending a business certificate for certification and money laundering and said she was approached by a procurement officer from Ministry of Tourism to use her business registration certificate.
She appealed against the sentence.
However, High court ,Justice Charles Mkandawire ruled on Thursday that her appeal has failed on the basis that he was not satisfied with the grounds of applications which to consider reducing her three year sentence and give her a non custodial sentence.
Ndovi argued that she resituated the money laundered to the government and that the magistrate never took into account here caution statement which she explained in details how she was coaxed and where the state could find other accomplices and their properties.
But in his ruling Justice Mkandawire said the magistrate was fair enough to give her the sentence and that he was not persuaded to interfere on the sentence with how the appellant counsel Gift Khonyongwa and Tadala Tembo explained to the court.
He said he would have interfered with the sentence only if the sentence was outrageous or excessive but the magistrate considered all mitigation factors in his ruling.
“Having heard the affidavits and all statements it clearly shows that the appellant was instrumental in both offences. She willingly borrowed her certificate to loot the government money; she later deposited the money plundered into her account in August 2013.
“It would have been a mockery [of justice], let me put it in record that it would have been a mockery for the public to have the appellant receive a non custodial or suspended sentence,” said the calm and composed judge.
On the grounds that the convict cooperated with the state, Mkandawire told the court that it is for that reason that even though the certificate lending is a misdemeanour case but it was a serious matter and said he also considered that the convict resituated the money.
“The issue of restitution must be looked at a broader perspective not in a narrow picture. The time restitution was made in 2016 there was a depreciation of kwacha and that the money which was laundered in 2013 lost value due to depreciation and also that the money then was intended for a specific purpose in a certain ministry which can’t meet it now due to a depreciation and that also we shouldn’t only look at how much money was laundered the consequences and intention of the money laundered,” said Mkandawire.
He then told the court that looking at all factors of the appeal and the sentence by the magistrate he find it that the sentence was not outrageous, excessive and that it’s not good that the court should interfere with the sentence for the sake of just interfering with it.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :