Odillo, Kafuwa granted K2m court bail: Malawi ex-army chief face corruption charges

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday took to court ormer Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander General Henry Odillo (retired) and his then deputy Clement Kafuwa where they were formally charged in relation to a multi-million dollar corruption allegations and have since been granted bail.

Odillo 9centre) leaving the curt on Wednesday

Odillo 9centre) leaving the curt on Wednesday

At fist ACB brought the two – who were arrested on Monday – before Lilongwe Magistrate court where Magistrate Paul Chiotcha, committed the case to the High Court.

High Court judge Esmie Chombo granted the former top military bosses bail bonded with K2 million (about US $4,500) each, place a house in the upmarket suburb of Area 43 (for Odillo) and a lodge in Blantyre (for Kafuwa).

Initially, the State wanted a bail bond of K5 million (US$11 111), but after a plea from Odillo’s lawyers, the figure came down to K2 million.

The bail conditions also demanded the two to surrender their passports to ACB.

The two former top generals have been charged with abuse of public office, negligence by public officer in preserving government property and money laundering.

The two are accused of arranging a contract to supply military equipment which was never delivered.

In January this year, ACB also arrested a former MDF Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Kauwa whose company, Thuso Investments Group, was linked to contracts for the disputed payments at MDF.

Odillo and Kafuwa were apparently signatories of several cheques, including K3 billion to International Procurement Services (IPS) owned by businessperson Osward Lutepo—who is also answering his own money laundering charges—and K1.5 billion to Thuso, co-owned by Kauwa and Alexander Banda, according to information sourced from ACB.

Odillo and Kafuwa – who are being represented by lawyer Donvan Silungwe -deny any wrongdoing.

The former MDF commander appeared at court  in a smart pair of cream-white trousers with a white shirt and a navy blue blazer. His wife was  dressed in purple attire and chitenje (wrap-around cloth).

Kafuwa was dressed in a matching navy blue jacket and pair of trousers with a purple shirt.

The graft-busting body are pursuing them as part of an on going investigation into government corruption known as “cashgate”.

The “cashgate” issue came to light in September 2013 after the attempted assassination of the finance ministry’s budget director Paul Mphwiyo.

The September 2014 forensic audit report by British firm Baker Tilly found that close to K18 billion of the K24 billion plundered between April and September 2013 was channelled through MDF.

Odillo  came to prominence when he thwarted the plot by  DPP for Peter Mutharika to inherit power after his brother Bingu wa Muthatrika, then the country’s president, died in office in August 2012 – supposedly of a heart attack.

DPP had plotted a coronation of Peter Mutharika rather than Joyce Banda, who was supposed to succeed Bingu automatically, according to the constitution. Though originally appointed by him, Banda had later fallen out with the irascible Bingu.

It was probably only the chief of the army, General Henry Odillo, in the end, who thwarted the plot by refusing to back the plotters and threw a protective cordon around Banda. The plotters eventually backed off.

Banda duly succeeded Bingu, but was trounced in last year’s controversial election by Peter Mutharika anyway.

Mutharika then fired Odillo from the MDF.

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46 thoughts on “Odillo, Kafuwa granted K2m court bail: Malawi ex-army chief face corruption charges”

  1. Hardson says:

    Who is right? I just don’t know!

  2. Mweneku Muzi says:

    Poor Malawians, the fact that they were soldiers then they are above the law.Nokha u say u don’t want taxpayers money to be abused.Anthuwa anaba awafufuze mukuti they are soldiers leave them ali ndi ma followers wat 4?

  3. stuart says:

    i have only one question to ask ….can they explain where bingu got the money to build the so called casablanca nywee nywwe and mpumulo wa mbava

  4. fight says:

    Vuto ndi milandu yamtundu uwu kuno ku Malawi ndi kuti imatenga nthawi yayitali ,eg cashgate.Komabe tiyeni nawio ma Viet wo ngakhale mlandu adzawine.

  5. Kevin jackson says:

    Bob Marley was right to say, its better to go and stay in a country where there is no politics and Governments, no presdent………….

  6. Chambang'ondo says:

    I have never seen the government winning such cases. Angowonongapo ndalama zimene akutolela kuchoka ku misonkho ya anthu osaukawa. What has government done on cashgate issue for a year now.

  7. Kes says:

    @jjb comment 31…

    That’s your average Malawian for you very daft (owuma mutu) , quick to comment on Internet forums but very bad at reading and understanding issues. Also very illogical, logic and common sense seem to be very alien concepts…
    The fact that potentially Odillo and his criminal syndicate at MDF stole more money than Lupeto..hasn’t even registered in their heads..

  8. Nyoni-nyoni says:

    Palibe vito apa, ngati sanalakwe they will be set free by the court ,why shading tears this time? Shame on you!

  9. For the sake of the entire Malawi nation the ACB must work justly; without fear or favour to bring these perpetrators face to face with justice.And please with our tips and support you must also follow up on all corrupt cases by former presidents and the current one too.

  10. ndaona says:

    Howard kachipanda comment 11, ndiwe kapetu eti! U think chifukwa anali mabwana nde ali ndi ufulu wokuba? komanso do they have weapons? ma weapons ndi a country not individual and they left them there! go back to class mwinanso ndiwe wa BODMAS

  11. Weniweni Balakasa says:

    A Odilo kupusa anali ndimwayi wotenga boma ili kawiri konse, koyamba nthawi ya maliro a daniel phiri kenako nthawi ya mavote akuba awa. Amafuna kuwoneka wokhulupirika pano akuwamanga bwenzi pano iwo ndiwo akumanga mbava za k92b ndi zofuna kulanda boma ndi zolamulira mwakuba izi.

  12. nana says:

    A soldier is always a soldier and being a commander kept in the cooler for sure.you people are kidding these soldiers have followers

  13. JJB says:

    “Odilo and Kafuwa, were apparently signatories of several cheques” What nonses is this? Is it not Nyasa Times that was showing cheques on this page signed by Odilo or Kafuwa, Now it is apparently?

    My God!!

    If these people did something they should not have done, defending the constitution should not be an excuse for stealing.

    Those of you who are insinuating that odilo should take over government are IDIOTS, where in the constitution does it say that?

    Odilo was not defending the constitution, he was ensuring his cousin became president so he can have a free hand in government money.

    Kafuwa is here because he realised it was a free for all so why not?

    Malawians do not look at facts they look at people. If the person arrested was say Bingus son you would be jumping up and down saying yes he did it without even looking at facts.

    Malawi as a country of fools, I for one do not feel sorry when Malawians suffer.

    Kwach gains value, instead of taking advantage of it you try to find reasons to blame the people whose job it is to ensure Kwacha gains value. What sort of morons are Malawians?

    1. Chikadzakowani says:

      Only a moron can be happy with the Kwacha gaining value through a ‘trick’. You heard Goodall Gondwe admitting to this ‘trick’ in parliament. This same minister manipulated the Kwacha for a long period during Bingu’s first term; this led to the massive devaluation that JB had to implement.

      If there are Malawians who do look at facts then it is DPP supporters: They blindly support anything without thinking about the consequences. APM and Goodall are both too old to ever feel the consequences of their current reckless actions. They will be dead when we start paying heavily for these tricks that they are currently engaged in.

  14. yankho says:

    Mdf kufooka basi 92 billion ili kuti Burundi style bwa

  15. Zikomankhani says:

    Placing the two officers in a cell was just pure revenge. They could have been arrested and then been given police bail immediately – then ACB could have started the court process. A person is supposed to be put in a police cell if he is a flight risk; there is a risk that he can interfere with investigations; or he is a risk to the public (e.g. a murder suspect who can commit further murders).

    As senior security officers the two cannot just fly out of Malawi, even under normal circumstances. Investigations should already be concluded, otherwise ACB could not think of arresting such senior people on incomplete evidence; and the two are certainly not a danger to the public.

    A lot is going to happen to people like Odillo and JB in the form of revenge. A quest for justice can be carried out without humiliating these people – but what we are going to see is more of humiliation and less of justice.

    However, APM and DPP should remember the words of Confucius: Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves…

  16. Davis says:

    Am agree with you Aubrey Juma boladi malawiyo angomugulitsa kwa aluyawo

  17. patrick says:

    kodi 92billlion inayenda bwanji? Mukutinyansa ife, makhoti akungowononga ndalama ndimabodza basi ,kenako mumvekele kuti zzzzzz,anthu akuchotsedwa nchito osaliipidwa muli duuu ,

  18. chivwamba says:

    Odillo can sign a check but does he have to follow up to see if the goods are delivered. Im nt an expert on procurement procedures. Thats just kubwezera. Remember Peters speech onhow he wanted the general. A Malawi wake up. These people should nt hide under cashgate pomwe its political

  19. chejali says:

    Very sad mkulu wankhondo!!!!!!!

  20. Moatize says:

    Listen to Nkani za mmaboma. Somebody has been slapped with five years after beating up his father coz the dad misappropriated his MK200.00 kwacha. (Two hundred kwacha not two thousand or two hundred thousand). So this case involves billions, how many years will be given to the Odillos, Kasambaras, Mphwiyos, Lutepos? Theft and robbery should be diferentiated from politics. Not everything is politics. When one steals a goat or a chicken, magistrates slap them with IHL, why not these mafias? I agree with someone who alludes to the fact that Chanco lawyers and judges leave a lot to be desired in the way they are handling cashgate cases. Better magistrates from Mpemba.

  21. Inhumane Rights Activist says:

    Please ACB and the courts, speed up this case and the others to do with Cashgate. They need to be locked up. Being former military generals does not mean they should be immune from prosecution. Zilowe basi mbava zimenezi, asaah.

  22. Winston msowoya says:

    Even though I live thousands of km from my homeland,I keep up to date of current affairs.The arrest of Army Chief Oddilo has shocked many Malawians in diaspora.Must I say that Malawi Army is dormant or disciplined? However,if it was another country in Africa,Peter could have provoked tumultuous situation leading to a coup d’état plunging the county into bloodbath.While many leaders in Africa respect Army Generals,in Malawi,Presidents push them around like football.As Iam writing this piece,Burundi Army General,has staged a military coup d’état coercing the President to flee the country because he violated constitutional guidelines and at the same time,he brushed aside the General’s warning.Another vivid instance is that of Late Iddi Dada Amin of Uganda when the late President Milton Appolo Obote issued a directive to Police Chief in Kampala to arrest him for a criminal offence,while Obote was in Singapole attending Commonwealth Conference.Amin took that opportunity and staged a coup that sent Obote to Tanzania where he was given political asylum that lasted ten years before Tanzanian strong armed forces toppled Iddi Amin’s rogue regime.LONG LIVE ODDILO.

  23. Kapenandiye says:

    Please comment according to the story. Have u read it through and through? These guys signed contracts for arms but never delivered. Another point money was paid for the said contacts. Odillo and Kafuwa has to prove that they did not sign those contacts and tell the court who did it. Secondly if they signed those contacts and money paid they have to prove delivey of the arms, simple! I understand this issue was carried in the Baker Tilly report, Were these guys mentioned In That report to have done the deal? What was their reaction to that audit report? If no convincing answers were given then the acb is doing the right thing. Let them do their job. If not guilty they will be set free.

  24. chikoya says:

    MK92bn WOYEEEE! Wina alira ndithu.

  25. Watson Bin says:

    Odillo and kafuwa will not get away with this no matter what happens. Straight forward case of theft by a controlling officer …..KAFUWA, so you have a lodge, ha ha ha Zayambika kuululika…..

  26. bertha says:

    Musazimvere chisoni mbamva izo koma mpaka 2billion even the name odillo says it all kuti ndiwa deal

  27. Maulana says:

    Odillo is a gentleman n very kind,he transformed MDF into a totally proffesional n independent institution pano kwabwera galu wachabechabe mukuti Ignacio Maulana,mbuzi,mbuli yachabechabe galu wa munthu ndipo timuzinga pakhosi asikali tagwirizana kale chimunthu chakuba ngati Maulana sindinachione ameneyu ndamene akufunika kumangidwa,chibwana chomangotukwana asikali ndi chamtundu wanji?wanya chaka chino uphedwa galu wachabechabe iwe!

  28. Peter Mathanyura tsopano ukubwezera Odillo ,, ma lawyer apa Chanco amenya ma delaying tactics mpaka izizira ngati kaja ka 92bn kaja a bwana !!!

  29. busta says:

    sometimes rebels help bring sanity in a govt. it seems in all govt depts there are looters, they need beheadings and we will start with u judges coz u r leading us no where, …….stupid !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Nkasai says:

    Orders chain.left right left right left right .Left wheel ,left wheel .HALT. Sir appearing before u are numbers — and ++++ on theft charges contrary to —- Verdict !not guilty koma poti mwaponda carpet yanga , 7 days FIELD OFFICER !!

  31. honourable says:

    Army commander is a military position not a professional one. He signs cheques are the law says but the professionally trained like accountants in army can explain better. U don’t understand how army works. Amakhala commander munthu or wa standard 8 ndiye zimenezo sangazipange follow, Bingu anaba ndalama thru MDF yomweyo ndi kayelekera koma anazisiya zonse za padziko izi.

  32. Aubrey Israel Juma says:

    If it possible please sell this country to Aluya this politicians are selfish they just want to enrich themselves.

  33. Howard Kachipanda says:

    Odillo and kafuwa, ngati mwatuluka pa bail, tilumikizane, boma la nyansili tilande. Nkuuzani zoti tichite

  34. sayimoni bayisikolo says:

    This country was better sold to some rich people or be 51th state of USA.It seems Malawians do not love their country.There is no patriotism from politicians to every sector of people.Nobody seems to care about this country.What everybody cares is to fill his/her pocket to make a name.They are very few genuine riches in Malawi and this has bled a culture of laziness in Malawi.Hardwork is not valued in Malawi.Everybody is thinking of overnight riches in Malawi and build some ugly oversized houses in some surburbs.Shame indeed.I don’t know where we are heading too with this corrupt spirit.Malawi is sinking down on everyday basis.Very few are benefitting from this greedy corrupt system while the mass Malawians are wallowing in stinking poverty.

    1. Malawiana says:

      You can say that again Bayisikolo! This country has been thrown to the dogs really. If top ranking soldiers can steal this way then we are doomed to hell.

  35. big testicles says:

    za zii. how many are on bail now? ena akuyimila anzawo ku court. how many cases are now forgotten?

    chanco judges and chanco lawyers. simudziwa chilichonse. thats why a congress timayitanitsa azungu achina stanbrook ndi anzawo. mizwanya yeni yeni osati zapa chikanda zanuzo. shatap!

  36. Andy Ndaonazino says:

    Koma Peter Mutharika!!! Kubwezera Odilo poti anakana taking over governement. hahahaha

    1. Sapitwa kakulanye says:

      Andy, your statement is not true and is also misleading. There is no revenge here, let the general explain what he did and the court will fairly give verdict. Let this be a lesson to anybody in authority to be accountable while in office. Please, do not mislead people with things you don’t know.

  37. Chimani. Game says:

    Mbuziyapresident.in Malawi

  38. muchedwaman says:

    These politics of Malawi are of wonders…… Who knws who is next…..?

  39. Nkurunzinza says:

    K92b apo ayi Nkurunzinza – Burundi!

  40. Me says:

    The last five sentence explain why Odillo has been arrested. This case is going no where and the Malawi taxpayer will pay for this unlawful arrest.
    How can a head of govt department be involved in procurement matters? This is Odillo’s simple defence which the govt will find it difficult to pin him on.

  41. KUKHALA says:


  42. Henry B says:

    i pray they release you !!!

  43. Chimwemwe says:

    MK 92 Billion????

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