No plea bargains for cashgate suspects- Malawi Judiciary

Malawi Judiciary has put its foot down tthat it is not ready to set up plea bargaining rules as the  government has been discussing with some Cashgate suspects on the possibility of striking pre-trial bargains relating to various charges the suspects are facing on the looting of K20 billion from public coffers.

Head of Malawi judiciary: Chief Justice Anastansia Msosa: No pre-trial bargaining guidelines

Head of Malawi judiciary: Chief Justice Anastansia Msosa: No pre-trial bargaining guidelines

Several suspects are reported to have asked for  pre-trial deals bordering on becoming State witnesses and returning the alleged stolen money.

One of the suspects, Oswald Lutepo, who is answering several charges relating to money laundering and theft, asked the Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale to become a State witness after going public admitting wrong-doing.

Another suspect, Pika Manondo, is said to have held discussions with ACB officials on the possibility of becoming a State witness.

But the office of Chief Justice Anastasia Msosa disclosed this week it is not ready to establish the rules which were ready expected to guide the prosecuting authorities in deciding on the suspects proposed plea bargains.

“In the absence of the plea bargaining rules, we cannot use or even consider using them; the only option available at the moment is a guilty plea which can then be used as a mitigation point in sentencing”, Ministry of Justice spokesperson Apoche Itimu is quoted by the Weekend Nation.

Although the country’s criminal procedures and evidence code makes provision for plea-bargains in section 252S,the Chief Justice is yet to set guidelines to regulate the actual bargaining.

And spokesperson for the Judiciary Mlenga Mvula said the Chief Justice’s office is not prepared
for the lengthy process of establishing the rules, although “it is looking into the matter with utmost urgency”.

Mvula is quoted by the Weekend Nation: “There’s need for a legal team to come together and start drafting the
rules. This will also involves research to be conducted in other countries where such rules are in place,hence it is a long process.

“But ( the office) is looking into the issue with utmost urgency…once the rules are in place,the Chief Justice may always advise the Ministry of Justice.”

Chancellor College law lecturer Dr. Mwiza Nkhata is on record warning that while the law allows pre-trial bargaining, justice cannot be fully served when accused persons only return the money they stole after striking deals.

“Despite the law allowing pre-trial bargaining, it’s also not automatic that every person who asks for a deal should be allowed. The gravity and severity of the crime determines [the action taken].

“The other issue is, the K20 million of 2010 is not the same as the K20 million of 2014…and government should also strive to get the other benefits of proceeds of crime and ensure that generally justice is done and not just accept that someone wants to return the money he [or she] is accused to have stolen,” said Nkhata.

Over K20 billion is said to have been stolen between April and September 2013  and about K92 billion was plundered from 2005 to 2012 in a public finance management scandal that angered donors and shocked a nation whose majority citizenry remain in abject poverty 50 years after attaining independence.

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34 thoughts on “No plea bargains for cashgate suspects- Malawi Judiciary”

  1. apundi says says:

    usandichimwitse iwe mtilason kukamwa ngati kwa Getu mubweze ndalama za NAC zopusa eti

  2. Mtilason says:

    Koma mumaziwa kuti anthu aphokoso okonda kung’amba kukamwa amakhala a Mantha bad? Ndaonera JB zoona Mai uja Matama onse Aja angathawe kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk gwirani wamandasiyo

  3. zingati zanu says:

    Judge them fairy and once found guilt order for a public stoning and amene sanachimwepo ndiwo azawagende. They are first offenders. Suspended sentence on condition they all money and property is recovered. If not then the mandatory sentencing must apply. That will constitute attempt to defeat the very same justice they are craving for. Paja zanu ndi zingati? Dzatengeni

  4. Alufeyo says:

    Most of you are daft you believe that if the money had not been stolen it could have been used for buying medicine. No there was no money and it could have been stolen period. At least with cashgate we know who stole what unlike now when people are “legally stealing”. We have not been told who funded these accounts up to now so we will never know what really happened. As a civil servant i dare you go to statehouse and find out how our money is being stolen what with a president who is half dead.

  5. che bint says:

    ndalama tipanga zina.mra ikugwira ntchito yake yabwino.awa asabweze awa akafele kundende basi

  6. milimbo says:

    Kodi ndoda ili pa chithuziyi ndaninso nanga?

  7. Dambudzo Mwasanya says:

    Amenewa abweze with interest ngati ya katapila.Their houses and cars should be sold to recover the stolen money.Thereafter we need to see their headquarters dangling on ropes at Civo stadium.We hear there is very skilled hangman in Zimbabwe.Tatopa Ife.Tianthu timeneti tinavuta kwabasi ndi timagalimoto ndi timahule patauni kani tikusolola pa capital hill ma salary ali less than 50pin.They have caused so much damage to Malawi.No mercy with them.

  8. jasitasi chilungamo says:

    These cashgate people are just like murderers.Poor people have been punished for no reasons because of their greediness.People having been dying in hospitals because of no medicine.Hospital people have been carrying out their duties in very inhuman conditions because the govt has been failing to buy basic things like gloves,surgical blades and others yet when these thieves are sick could afford to fly abroad or afford expensive medical care while the tax payer and other ordinary Malawians reeled in stinking poverty.No plea bargaining for these cashgaters.Alot are being shielded because our politicians were involved in this dirty ring.Alot have made profits out of these money.The stolen money should be returned with interest and thereafter should be locked for life to avoid the future generation from being involved on this dirty saga.All Malawians should wake up otherwise they will be great revolution in this impoverished country to change things.Some of us do not care of these cheap politicians who have just brought misery to malawians because of their greed for illgotten riches.

  9. telly says:

    pre bargain w/ the money given back and the punishment stop harsh

  10. chrispine says:

    Pliz our president arest all concerned people.

    1. Think Tank says:

      a Crispine,president samanga munthu. Izo zimachitika ndi ma dictator. President wachilungamo salowera nkhani za apolice,akhoti ndi ACB. Munthu kuti amangidwe pankhani ngati izi payenera kukhala umboni weniweni osati zamumaluwa. Dikilani muzawone wina anamangidwa ndiye a khoti azampeze kuti sanabe nawo. Azalipilidwa ndalama zankhaninkhani kuti anamuyipisira dzina ndi zifukwanso zina. Musamamupompemo president sizimukhudza. Kukakhala kumukhudza.

  11. mona says:

    Chokani apa lutepo akukanikani bwanji

  12. Maxwell Nsani says:

    If you want to copy plea bargaining guidelines bwanji osangopanga zomwe timapanga nthawi zonse, check with the British system, then copy and paste.. http://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/attorney-generals-office, check under Attorney General guidance to the legal profession. Its about Guidance on the acceptance of pleas and the Prosecutor`s role in the sentencing exercise ( revised 2009).
    However, I agree with Mwiza Nkhata, no plea bargaining. You cant steal K20m in 2009 and return K20m today. even if the banks operated like that they would be broke. Followthe proceeds of the crime and leave the buggers as broke as a church mouse. That will teach them.

  13. John says:

    LEAVE KAMUZU ALONE. KAMUZU DID NOT STEAL ANYBODY’S MONEY. BAKILI IS THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER! I HATE HIM.

  14. nenani sawasawa says:

    zimenezo ife ayi

  15. kaukonde says:

    In fact Senzani is better off as she is counting down on her sentence while those who are outside are more of prisoners than those in jail and they will pay more in legal fees and time wasted and by the time they go to jail they will be poor and bankrupt. just please guilty and know your fate instead of remaining in perpetual anxiety.

  16. mwaluwazi says:

    those who looted the public coffers need to face the long arm of the law as stipulated osati za bargaining

  17. Palibe za plea bargaining apa.

  18. Mwama Du says:

    Mbava zayamba kuyanjana ndi boma. Kapena ndinene kuti boma layamba kugwirizana ndi mbava. MBAVA ZIMAGWIRIZANA.

  19. Masharubu says:

    Kodi m’dala wa judiciary ali pa chithunzipa nde utinso?

  20. we want to know the truth no sweeping it under the carpet

  21. Ine says:

    Can we just focus on prosecuting these thieves rather than wasting time with legal jargons? The victims of this thugery in the villages dont care whether we have pre trial bargain or not. All they want is their cash back, donor confidence restored, no cash leakages again and a prosperous Malawi.

    We all know how useless our judiciary is and lets not ask them for a procedure that will take them 10yrs to complete. They should rather be busy telling us why Muluzi is still a free man in the streets, enjoying the proceeds of the stolen K1.7bn.

  22. Pika Manondo is a very dangerous man. He can do anything to get what he wants. Ask Parliament why they decided to retire him at a young age.

  23. Blessing says:

    Kamuzu store 12billion and kept in the Swiss Bank , Bakili store Billions kept in Arab Banks , Bingu store billions some money kept in State House ,Joice Banda store Millions trough cashgate . The solution is ban any future Malawin president with a letter B . Banda,Bingu ,Bakili,BANDA (joice) no country in Africa has ever managed to retrieve stolen money from dictators and Criminals stolen from government account . Mobutu Seseseko , Abacha ,Savimbi , Banda etc . Malawi needs radical transformation and supernatural like what happened in Fiji . 99% of Malawian political leaders are driven by a demonic sprit of selfish ambitions and not service to Malawian people .The money stolen through cashgate will not be recovered . The money is already outside malawi using different names in properties and Land.

  24. Chembe says:

    What I really don’t understand is why the courts are commenting on the pre bargaining issue instead of dealing with the case as presented to them. When it comes to pre bargain the prosecuting team can charge someone with a lesser offense and that’s what pre bargain sometimes means. As in Namathanga case the courts sentence was based on the charge prosecutors brought before the court. So courts stop fooling the citizens like you have absolute control over these issues. Any prosecutor who wants to win a case will analysis all the possible charges against a suspect and settle for one that can possibly win a conviction. Let the prosecutors do their job

  25. Achimidzimidzi says:

    I have no problem with judicial stand at the meantime.

    Koma tizaka mukupereka tochepa zedi, te ka 9 years basis? Anyamatawo kumakhama ndi 50 years with hard labor.

  26. Victor Jumbo says:

    I for one am not in favour of plea-bargains deals with any of the criminals involved in Cash Gate Scandal. Instead I would get as much confessions from these guys and use the same evidence to convict everyone who stole from public coffers. It absurd that most of the big fish are not yet put behind bars and the authorities seems to treat these criminals with kids groves. Get back all the money that they have stolen and punish all severally to send message to the would be thieves that such behaviours will not be tolerated by government and win back donors trust. The poor people are being punished twice through no fault of their own. Money stolen and loosing out on donor funding. The government please show some guts and do the job you were voted for. Victor Jumbo, UK.

  27. PROBLEM SOME MEMBERS OF THE GVT OFFICIALS ARE INSIDE THE RING OR CIRCLE, EVEN UDF, DPP ,PP AND NOW NEW DPP MEMBERS ARE THERE TOO.

    SORRY MALAWI

  28. son says:

    Atsogoleli akumalawi muganixile anthu wamba,chimo limaononga banja,mtundu,dziko,kuyambila bakili mpaka lero moyo wa amalawi akuvutika,izi zikuchika kamba kakuba,ine sindikuvutika koma ndimava chisoni,kodi inu atsogoleri simuvela abale anu chisoni,mumava bwanji mukaona mmalawi mzanu akugona ndi njala,munthu aliyese wakuba ayenela kupita kundende,mukufuna umboni otani kumanga anthu awa,ngati simungakwanitse tulani mpando pasi ena atenge,ndili kuno ku europe mtsogoleri akarephela amatula mpando pasi ena nkupitiliza,inu kwanu nkutumikila anthu wamba.zukomo

  29. mmv says:

    Mbava zipaneni

  30. Alshabab says:

    Achuma ndiye pre bargaining koma wakuba nkhuku kenaka kumugwira naye ku khoti ndi pompo pompo ku ndende. Oh Dziko lapansi likomera opata ndithu

  31. Pichi says:

    Its is a good argument koma for the good of the country Malawi has to recover as much money as possible. Imprisoning these people will only cost Malawians more money in keeping them in prison and most of these high profile convicted guys will spend their time at Mwai Wathu and other private hospitals with a prison warden at the door guarding them. Let common sense prevail here. Its our country its our problem so only us who can find a solution.

    1. Victor Jumbo says:

      I respect your opinion and totally agree with you that the Malawi Government should get back the stolen Money with interests and make sure that all Malawians especially the poor benefits from it. But I do not agree with you that all those involved in the cash gate scandal should be let off the hook and not published because if they are sent to jail then according to you government will loose a lot of money keeping them in jails and probably spend a lot of money paying for their medical bills to Mwai Wathu private hospital. I don’t know if you know that the above opinion is sending a very bad messages to the public and certainly not helping the good cause. Why should the criminals taken to Private Hospitals such as Mwai Wathu when ordinary people goes to government hospitals and clinics where there is not even paracetamol with which to treat simple ailments such as severe headaches, power failure and no water at all being norms of the day in government hospitals across the country. With your opinion how would you win back all Malawian Donors trust . You know that Malawi can not survive without international Donors who provide Malawi with the much needed forex that the government would need to import Medicine, pay salaries for civil servants, build more Schools and construct new roads and improve the lives of all Malawians. ..Just to name a few. Your suggestion would without doubt encourage more and more people to indulge in these malpractices rather than detering which I find very difficult to comprehend . I want the Malawi Government to take a leading role by sending out a very strong message to all civil servants involved in the cash gate scandal and the public at large that no one is above the law and help the judiciary do a good and thorough job to apprehend and put to trial all the cash gate suspects without fear or favour. So Mr president do it now as they say that ” justice delayed is justice denied ” . You took Oath to serve and protect all Malawians diligently. Please the Malawian people wants you to sort out the cash gate scandal today and not tomorrow otherwise the people will start thinking that may be you are one of them that is why you can’t do anything about it. Victor Jumbo, UK.

  32. True patriot says:

    No short cut to justice.Remember the Yusuf Mwawa and Chikakwiya’s case.Mizimu ya anthu osalakwa yatayika chifukwa chosowa mankhwala mnzipatala inu mukudyerera.Lord fight for our justice.

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