Malawi prosecutors seek stiff sentence for Lutepo: Cashgate convict asks for suspended sentence

Prosecutors in the cashgate case involving convicted businessman Oswald Lutepo has appealed to Judge Redson Kapindu to infuse stiff sentence to the convict dismissing mitigation factors by his defence lawyer seeking a lenient one year jail but suspended.

 Lutepo speaks with his lawyer Oswald Mtupila at High Court in Zomba

Lutepo speaks with his lawyer Oswald Mtupila at High Court in Zomba

Lutepo’s lawyer, Oswald Mtupila, on Monday pleaded for leniency, before Judge Kapindu at High Court registry in Zomba.

He told the court that Lutepo took a “bold decision” to plead guilty on charges of conspiracy to defraud government and money laundering of K4.2 billion ($9.3 million) between April and September 2013,

He asked the court to consider giving Lutepo a maximum of 12 months imprisonment with a suspended sentence.

“The convict has engaged the state in a view of making restitution hence court should be lenient with sentence,” Mtupila submitted before the court.

“Lutepo didn’t waste court’s time, money and he cooperated. Court should take that into consideration when passing sentence,” said the defendant’s lawyer.

But State prosecutors disagreed with Lutepo’s lawyer of lenient sentence.

Deputy Director of Anti Corruption Bureau, Reyneck Matemba told the court that 12mnths imprisonment and suspended sentence would be “an insult “to Malawians

“Malawians are suffering, donors no longer funding budget thanks to cashgate which Lutepo took part in.

“He was rich and comfortable but wanted to reap where he didn’t sow He should have known that crime doesn’t pay,” Matemba told the court.

Director of Public Prosecution Mary Kachale acknowledged mitigation factors but pointed out that though first offender, the State spent a lot of money on him.

“State spent money on hiring a psychologist,” she said.

On restitution, the DPP noted that Lutepo agrees that he took part in the embezzlement scandal.

“Lutepo was not only used. If he had refused his clients could somehow not have successes in stealing money from government,” said Kachale.

She added: “The fact that his companies were used to steal money from govt making Malawians suffer this is like armed robbery without guns.

“The fact the he was a billionaire already shows that he was greedy. He should have been content with what he had.”

Kachale said on money laundering maximum sentence is 10 years imprisonment but can be give nine year. On conspiracy to defraud government, maximum sentence is three can be given one year.

She said Lutepo should get a minimum of 10 years jail.

But Mtupila pleaded with the court that it should not give harsh punishment because of public outcry.

“Many people he supported will suffer and this will do no good to nation,” he said.

“He has confessed would not do it again and restituted all he had that was associated with cashgate,” pleaded Mtupila.

Mtupila said Lutepo is only 37 years, young and at prime productive age.

Lutepo wants to restitute his Woget Industries Limited, currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, which the State had initially targeted for confiscation.

Woget is a subject of controversy following huge discrepancies that have resulted from valuations conducted separately by the State (at K293 million) and the defence at K1.427 billion (excluding the land on which it is planted).

Other assets of Lutepo, among them, International Procurement Services, O and G Construction Limited and Naming’omba Tea Estate

Judge Kapindu has since adjourned to September 5 for sentencing.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

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

More From the World

61 thoughts on “Malawi prosecutors seek stiff sentence for Lutepo: Cashgate convict asks for suspended sentence”

  1. Hoitty says:

    It’s sad to see all of Lutepo’s wealth taken away from him because he stole 3.4billion. This is sad because out of that amount he only benefited 10%. He should’ve just paid restitution through one company. You people who took the 90% that Lutepo is paying back, how do you sleep at night knowing someone is paying for the money you are using to pay hotel bills outside this country and buying air tickets for globe trotting. Ndikunena iwe Mphwiyo ndi Joyce

  2. Manyaziulibe says:

    My question is simple what is minimum sentences for cashgate offender ? Don’t be biased when passing these judgements or else all civil servants whole stole government money and are linguishing in jails of Malawi should be pardoned.
    Some of these straight forward cases would would be done better by our chiefs in our villages than the current courts

  3. Innocent Chiyenda says:

    Lutepo is not sick, he is just pretending. when he is at home in KU he moves without any problems. zoti amagwiritsa ntchito wheel chair timangoonera Ku khoti. why should Malawians be fooled like this? They should give him stiff sentence that’s all.

  4. ochewa says:

    Tidzawitcha ngati mungampatse suspended sentence. Mtsonkho wanga sangadye motero

  5. Lovemaniac 91 says:

    Jst giv him death sentence, akapume! If he is given 1yr, when he comes ppo shud kil this Cowswald, even mob justice wil be used. Sitiyiwala!

  6. whether 10 yrs or 1 yr to me no different at all, becoz the money has already gone. And him is already a billionaire.

  7. peter says:

    If Lutepo is given a lenient sentence the only other option remaining with patriotic Malawians is use of mob justice!

  8. Mwethu says:

    After being given a suspended sentence you will hear that Mr Lutepo had a miraculous healing after touching his TV screen on Emmanuel TV channel and that he is now able to walk and his mental capacity is also normal!!!
    Please our judges listen to our DPP, the only DPP so far who has shown us that there are indeed lawyers who aren’t crooked afterall.

  9. ISIS says:

    Whether you give him one year or ten years nothing will change in terms of my welfare as I am still being ruled by clueless dunder-heads who have stolen more than Lutepo

  10. I remember my friend who was a public servant and was given 14 years for stealing K100,000. What about billions which Lutepo stole? You plead guilty when you know you cannot win a case. It’s not a question of wasting the court’s time. We pay or deducted tax and that tax should be protected like a help zebra from lions. Malawi is like an endanger species. We are an endangered country that depends on donors. Even dönor money is tax payers money. The Lewis Hamilton, Rooneys, Wengers, Roger Federers, Bryan Adams, Boni Jovi, Serena Williams etc are deducted taxes and part of it comes here.

  11. MCHEMO says:

    SHAME ON JUDICIARY IF LUTEPO IS GIVEN A KID’S GLOVE SENTENCE.WE NEED TO BE MORE MATURE IN HANDLING THIS CASE AS IT WILL NOT ONLY BE VICTORY FOR DONORS, BUT POOR MALAWIANS WHO HAVE BEEN REDUCED TO DESTITUTES IN OWN COUNTRY.

    WAKE UP MALAWI

  12. he can not tell me that some of his co were running without those stolen money,everything from him should be taken,how could one enrich himself when many malawians are in deep problems.Mr judge if indeed you have all the powers this should be a lesson to others otherwise pple will not be afraid to do the same.

    if he was not afraid of these big sums he should not be afraid of big sentence.

  13. Sekanao G . says:

    may God have mercy

  14. mulopwana says:

    i know someone who stole K1,2MILLION at a certain Company and was sentenced to 7 yrs imprisionment by the same courts of MW ,so giving Lutepo 10 yrs is really an insults even to those inmates with minor crimes.Malawiams lets us wake up,chifukwa choti ali ndi ndalama nde mumupatse linient sentence…no…no….

  15. tzbvxhn says:

    this guy deserves a harsh sentence after all isnt the law there to deter any feauture crime. If he has to be let off with lesser punishment then the purpose of the law will not be served.

  16. paulo says:

    a suspended sentance is a get out of jail free card, 9.300,000 us$, really!

  17. Njegame Syaosimo says:

    This guy needs death sentence for causing deaths of several people who have died due to lack of drugs in our hospitals not 10 years. His dependants will suiffer??? Really?? How about those that have suffered all these years…………. This guys has been a crook of the highest calibre from the time he was operating his OSK Freight at Mwanza. MRA know him, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority – Beitbridge anomudziba murume uyu as well as SARS ku Mussina. Its unfortunate we Malawians are in deep slumber. We are talking of trying to get back donor confidence, how can we get back the donors if we start giving these thugs suspended sentences? Are we serious?. Our neighbours like Zambia, Zimbabwe and RSA would give these bastards 99 years improsonment with hard labour so that they are die there. These people called lawyers are only there for the money – they are number one satans! Period.

  18. Zuze Chilombo Chammudzi says:

    Where will Lutepo’s lawyer get fees? From Lutepo? The cashgate money. No wonder the lawyer is fighting for one year suspended sentence. The lawyer must face justice too

  19. george chimowa says:

    mother malawi

  20. Likoma Economist says:

    In countries like America, Lutepo would be slapped with 250 YEARS imprisonment, with no chance for parole.

  21. Mapiri says:

    The judiciary risks losing credebility if it gives Lutepo a lighter sentence. Consider how many Malawians have suffered because of his stealing. The guy knew exactly what he was doing. He shud pay for his actions.

  22. wakwatabu says:

    abale ndi alongo,ngati pali wina yemwe sadachimwepo atole mwala amugende,only JAH knows!

  23. RoyK says:

    Failing to give right punishment because some top govt officials fear he may name them for betrayal

  24. Ntundu says:

    Man wish, ka comment kanuko osangokalemba m’chichewa bwanji???

  25. George Kamanga says:

    Whether Lutepo gets life imprisonment to me it sounds good but will calamities which innocent lives are going through will end after passing the stiffer sentence??? Will main donors resume aid to Malawi government??? Will cash gate end??? The answer remains a very big “NO”

    Malawi prosecutors the truth is that you are harbouring & big criminals on issues of Cash gate or corruption. You have the best evidence in your files or computers concerning the big, deadly & dangerous criminals concerning Cash gate or corruption in this land. Your pretence will not solve any single problems Malawians are facing.

    After passing stiffer sentences to very small fish still Malawi remains under the hands of dangerous robbers, criminals, murderers, assassinators & monsters.

    Let me remind you some of the names of deadly & cruel criminals which you are shielding. These are: APM & his late brother. Where did bingu get MK61 billion or what type of businesses or investments did he establish that you can prove that his worth is from pure sources??? Why did APM command that the investigations on his late brother must be stopped??? Why if APM has cleans must declare that investigations on MK92 or MK577 billion looted & plundered during his late brother must be done urgently???? George Chaponda, Henry Mussa, Patricia Kaliati to mention a few some of the deadly & dangerous criminals which are being shielded to face true justice. Other notable criminals are Kenyatta Nyirenda & Mbendera who because of their greedy forced Malaeians to be led by deadly & dangerous idiots.

    If you think that donors will release aid after sentencing small fishes you are just waisting your time. As long as God exist “Truth & Justice” will prevail one day. As for me I will see this happen before I leave for my final resting place.

    Finally this is my prayer that where ever donors you are let God Himself in His Mercies guide you not to release aid to these dogs who are claiming to be leaders. Keep your money till Malawi is cleansed from criminals. Malawians will not perish at all for God will preserve them for His Glory & Honor.

  26. Howard Kachipanda says:

    Koma inu ma lawyer enawadi ndi anthu omvetsa chisoni. Khoswe amaganiza mochenjelerako. Mmalo moti mukhale patsogolo kuthandiza kubweretsa chilungamo ndi mtendere, taonani a Mtupira zomwe mukuchita. Ngati simungakwanitse u Lawyer pezani zina zochita olo kumakadyetsa ana phala ku mkombaphala

  27. Meynard says:

    Boma lalephera kulanga munthuyu…timupanga mob justice tikamupeza mtawunimu.

  28. nyanda says:

    Zopusa!

  29. Mtochi says:

    Iwe judge don’t waste our time. 35 yrs imprisonment with hard labour.

  30. Jimuni says:

    If only you defence lawyer had sick relation whom you took to a public hospital at the time your client was a billionaire, you would appreciate the suffering these hoodlums caused to many. But anyways, as a defence lawyer you have a duty…

  31. learnedmi says:

    WHY IS THE VALUATIOON EXCLLUDING THE VEHICLES HE DNATED TO PP?
    LAWYERS USE YOUR HEADS

  32. GUMGUM says:

    who lied to you that public confession will get you public sympathy? give him a minimum of 50 years because he took the country 50 years back. Seriously how did you feel, our hospitals lacking basic supplies while inuyo mmatenga ndalama za boma?

  33. Smoko boy says:

    It doesn’t make any sense to imprison someone who robed government of billions of kwachas for just one year, when others are getting five years simply because of slaping their wives or brawl at a drinking joint. If this were the case then even me wont be afraid of stealing knowing that am gonna be a millionaire after spending just one miserable year behind prison bars.

  34. Dido says:

    The government just want to divert our minds from serious issues hitting our country hard to cashgate. We have issues in Malawi which need serious attention; medical drugs, lack of teachers in schools, food shortage, just but to mention a few. Plz Mr Goverment, we pple want action not these rhetorics you say they are of development yet they are not. We can’t eat a road or a certain shugar scheme which is a non starter. Pplz jack up Mr and look sharp.

  35. Truck says:

    KODI MA LAYWER AKU MALAWI MUMAKHALA NGATI SIMUNAPITE KU SCHOOL KUKAPHUNZIRA LAW BWANJI HOW CAN A CROCK LIKE LUTEPO CAN BE GIVEN ONE YEAR JAIL SENTENSE THATS AN INSULT TO MALAWIANS EH! THERE ARE NO MEDICINE IN HOSPITALS DUE TO CASHGATE AND NO MONEY IN GOVERNMENT DUE TO CASHGATE NOW YOU MUST PUT LIFE IN JAIL ALL THESE CASHGTAE GUYS NO MORE MERCY WHEN THEY WERE STEALING MONEY THEY HAD ALSO NO MERCY FOR THE PEOPLE OF MALAWI AN EYE FOR AN EYE!

  36. phomuphomu says:

    INE PHOMU, NDAKWIYA KOBASI……KODI KA CHILANGO KAJA KODULANA KHOSI KAJA KADATHA ETI? APATU ZIMAFUNIKA KUTERO NDI NKULUYU ATSOGOLE BASI……NDIYE PAJA ZA MA PENAL CODE CHANI CHANI…..MAUFULU…..NDAKWIYA KOBASIIIIIII.

  37. Wawa Phiri says:

    A judge iphani chilombo basi. Apo bi timuotchadi tokha.

  38. Moses Makoko says:

    This is the time l wish l was a judge! I was going to sit back in my chair, pick up my judgement papers, organise them and started like this:

    “Oswald Lutepo, please stand up……After a through analysis of the accusations that were levelled against you by the state and also having carefully analysed your defence thereto; l find you Oswald Lutepo guilty and deserves to be punished. I don’t understand why you decided to defraud the government at such a large magnitude and you didn’t seem to have a cut off date! Clearly, you had decided to take over every coin the government has in its coffers! This is just as good as a treason case.

    The country is in disrepair mode due to you and your accomplices. Donors have lost trust in our financial management and many people are suffering in return. The money you stole is also part of high taxes malawians are paying.

    You together with your accomplices are selfish beings. You don’t deserve to be among people and l don’t know where l can place you other than the prison in order to teach you and your admirers a lesson l am sending you to prison and be there until you die!”

  39. Chizeleza Ngwira says:

    Uyu ngofunika Death by Firing Squad

  40. Gojo says:

    Mtayeni, tipha tokha ndima screwdriver, a chenjere

  41. nankungwi says:

    The very fact that is sentence is a matter of discussionis is a disgrace to the Malawi legal system! he is a convicted thief! he has caused alot of peple’s suffering! in fact people have died in hsopitals because of this man’s very very irresponsible behaviour! why is it difficult to see that he deserves to be punished and the coun try needs to confisticate his property to repay as much of what he stole as possible?

    I dispair!

  42. mo says:

    Had it been anaba nkhuku yanu bwezi pano Ali second year pa zomba but just bcoz he is your friend mukulephela kumumanga

  43. Sapitwa says:

    PP wellwisher to spend just 12months suspended?
    It will be risky for him to stay in Malawi Muphetsa munthu Ku anthu okwiya!

  44. This is getting boring. Lock him up already

  45. Rubberman says:

    Tchimo litsata mwini. Asaope ameneyo.

  46. Jezikamale says:

    Kkkk lutepo is juvanile endeed 3years, yeah the time has now come that lutepo should dance the tune of his own composed music,malawi has been rocked by alot of economic hardships due to barbalic and diabolic acts of few greedy malawians like lutepo,all cash-gate perpetrators deserve death penalties because they’re killers so they need to be killed as well, sometimes i wonder and filled with unaswered questions as to what actually deries malawian courts to take much longer in passing judgements on cases that are much awaited by masses,its embecility reaping yet you didn’t sow.

  47. anadimba says:

    areneck matemba,ikatha imeneyi ya bakili ilowe mbwalo kenako ya Bingu ya ndata ,kenako ya Peter ya housing , yajoice yacashgate, ya chaponda ya chinyumba chija , no selective justice.

  48. MAFUMU says:

    -MILANDU YA WANTHU
    .WOWAUKA WOBA NKHUKU KAPENA MBUZI TEN YEARS IHL

    WOKUBA NGATI NAMATHANGA ZAKA ZITATU ZOONA ??

    TIWONA ENAWA NGATI CHILUNGAMO CHIKHALE

  49. Ma judge akumalawi ndinu makape aanthu,ndiponso ndakwiya nanu,bwanji mukuchedwetsa mulandu wasatana ameneyu?,kapena mwapatsidwa kena kake?,komatu bwino tikumakuona!

  50. Thom Duncan Paul Nkalodzwa says:

    Death ???? sentence

  51. Mdzukulu says:

    Lutepo seeks a lenient sentence so that he continues to enjoy the loot as soon as he can. This is seek

  52. Jang'ala says:

    He should be sentenced to 10 years and above in prison. Sitofuna za chamba ife. Tikuvutika ife aMalawi.

  53. chomoncho says:

    What a bullshit lame excuse that lutepo shouldnt given a stern sentence. How many people does he supposedly look after? If all Malawians sacrificed 50 tambala, 8 million kwacha would be raised. I don’t believe in his lifetime he would have spent that much on his dependants. Give the bastard a life sentence. Dog.

  54. clement says:

    Very bad eeeish! Stealing alot of money and someone says fwifwifwi akuti lawyer akhale 1yr kundende zoona? Zaugalu eti. Dziko kumavutika chifikwa cha afisi ozikonda ngati inu zoona zimenezo? Ok try to give him 1yr imprisonment once released meet him, I will sacrifice my life to Lutepo, serious. Today oppositions are saying all the sufferings Malawi facing is dpp yet it’s bulshit Lutepo, Joyce and colleagues. Good must do something to these people right now.

  55. Jeck says:

    So the people he supported are more important than the rest of the 15mil in this Country? Give these thieves stiff punishments so that people should learn that once they steal from the people of malawi they shall not get away with it. MALAWI DZUKA!!!!!!

  56. Mdzukulu says:

    Only if you listened to reggae music, you would have understood the true meaning of life. Reggae music again!!!

  57. M'Malawi Weniweni says:

    Malawi is losing direction. How can a convicted thief dictate what his punishment can be. If Lutepo was a billionaire before cash gate, he should be investigated how he acquired such wealth? Remember that Cash Gate only covers 6 months. I strongly suspect Lutepo started other Cash Gates much earlier. Check his tax obligation and you will discover more thefts

  58. Wish says:

    please send Lutepo to prison & his friends
    Malawi need a change so if we want change in this country please send everyone who is connected to cashgate For Ten years above in prison.. if u give them 1 year u try to say theft and money laundering is good so alot of people who r in different government position they will never stop still our Money.

    Malawi need a change u lawyers u manage to send a person to five years in prison bcause he stole a chicken so u r try to say its difficult to send lutepo to prison for only few ten years so dat he can receive transformation Please u rich find yo on Country,,where u can broke laws..if lutepo will not receive Ten years sentence please dismis all cases concerning Cashgate

  59. Nyoni phiri says:

    Ngati salandira ten years, ameneu timuotcha tokha

  60. Kenkkk says:

    Maximum sentence and make him an example for all govt thieving bastards. The only reduction to his full maximum sentence I can see him getting is just one year for admitting the crime, not wasting time and the return of his crime proceeds. Otherwise he should just rot in jail.

  61. Msadane says:

    Apa ndipamene pakadafunikila traditional courts system kuti mulandu uthe msanga komaso chilango chake chilankhulile mkwiyo ndi chipsyinjo cha a Malawi osalakwa omwe akuzunzika chifukwa cha mbava zimenezi. Why should a ruthless thief be given leniency when his actions continue to negatively harshly impact on innocent and poor Malawians?

Comments are closed.

More From Nyasatimes