Former budget director Paul Mphwiyo Tuesday walked out to freedom after spending nine days in police custody, temporarily though as the State has hinted he faces several cases which can lead him back to prison.
The High Court in Lilongwe granted bail to Mphwiyo in a K2 million bond on Monday but could not get out of prison because he could not meet a condition that the court wanted him to give a house as part of the surety.
Mphwiyo’s lawyer Shadreck Mhango said he had to plead with the court for a waiver on the bail condition so that he surrenders his father in law’s house instead to which the court agreed.
In addition, the court ordered him to have two sureties bonded at K2 million noncash each and that bail condition for his previous cases should still be honoured.
Mphwiyo was arrested alongside 17 others, including businessman Lumumba Karim and civil servants Auzius Kazombo-Mwale, Clemence Mmadzi and Roosevelt Ndovi. They are jointly accused of defrauding government about K2.4 billion ($4,085,800).
Last week, director of public prosecutions Mary Kachale hinted Mphwiyo faces other cases related to the infamous cashgate.
“Malawians should not think we are harassing the suspects when they see us arresting and re-arresting them. We are seeking justice,” said Kachale.
Mphwiyo once hailed as an anti-graft crusader has been charged along with 17 other officials in the country’s widening “Cashgate” scandal which originated in 2005.
The multi-million-dollar scandal prompted foreign donors – who provide around 40% of impoverished Malawi’s budget – to pull the plug on aid worth around $150m.
Mphwiyo two years ago was shot outside his house and badly injured when he was reported to be about to expose a a network of corrupt officials.
He was previously credited with overhauling the public finance system to close loopholes that allowed fraud, and for cancelling dubious government contracts.
An audit by British experts ordered by then president Joyce Banda found that $30 million had been looted in a period of less than six months in 2013 while Mphwiyo was in the powerful position of budget director.
Oswald Lutepo, the chief suspect in the fraud, was sentenced to 11 years in jail and over a dozen civil servants and business people have already been jailed in connection with the cashgate affair.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :