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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Hardson
Guest

Who is right? I just don’t know!

Mweneku Muzi
Guest

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?

stuart
Guest

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

fight
Guest

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

Kevin jackson
Guest

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

Chambang'ondo
Guest

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.

Kes
Guest

@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..

Nyoni-nyoni
Guest

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

ELECTORATE MZIKA
Guest

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.

ndaona
Guest

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

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