Malawi prosecutors have applied to court for seizure warrants for property connected to Cashgate belonging a former junior civil servant Victor Sithole who is currently serving a nine years jail term with hard labour for his part in the “cashgate” corruption scandal.
Former accounts assistant Sithole was found guilty of stealing more than $66,000 in cash.
Sithole’s arrest in August 2013 kick-started what became known as the “cashgate” affair – the worst financial scandal in the country’s history.
It became public knowledge a month later following the shooting of the finance ministry’s then budget director Paul Mphwiyo.
Special Cashgate prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu, who has now won all the four concluded cases in court, on Friday asked Lilongwe, magistrate Patrick Chirwa, to issue seizure warrant on Sithole’s property said to have been obtained using spoils from the looting of public funds at Capital Hill which include Whisper Pub and Area 25 house.
Defence lawyer Ralph Kasambara – also answering to money laundering charges – is expected to respond to the State’s request on March 15.
Magistrate Chirwa sentenced Sithole, 28, to seven years for money laundering, one year for illegal possession of foreign currency and one year for being found in possession of stolen property – all three terms will run consecutively.
Nyasulu asked court for a warrant of “complete seizure” on Sithole’s assets.
Prior to the shooting of Mphwiyo, police had arrested Sithole after finding him with K120 million (US$292 689).
Among others, police also arrested civil servant Martha Banda whom they found with K7.8 million (US$19 024) at her home in Lilongwe.
Police e also retrieved $184 000 (about K75 million) in cash from a safe box at First Merchant Bank (FMB) belonging to attempted murder suspect in the Mphwiyo shooting case, Pika Manondo.
They also impounded four of the cashgate six buses for which the Tourism Ministry paid K520 million through a cheque co-signed by arrested principal accountant to government Roosevelt Ndovie.
Ndovie was also earlier arrested after police found him with K3 million cash in his car boot and $25 000 (about K10 million) at his house.
The first person to be convicted in relation to the high-profile case was former Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Tressa Namathanga Senzani, who was sentenced to three years in jail.
There have been other cashgate convictions of Maxwell Namata and Luke Kasamba to eight years and four and a half years respectively for theft and money laundering.
Namata, a former civil servant, was sentenced to consecutive custodial sentences of three years and five years for theft and money laundering respectively.
Kasamba, only found guilty on the second count of money laundering, but whose lawyers had earlier appealed for a lenient sentence citing health concerns, was jailed to four years and six months.
Another cashgate convict is Wyson Dzinyemba Soko who will serve a seven-year term.
Western donor nations and agencies, which provide 40% of Malawi’s budget, froze vital aid worth around $150m in reaction to the scandal.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :