Getrude Lutepo, wife to chief cashgate suspect Oswald Lutepo was picked by Fiscal Police in Blantyre on Wednesday for interrogation on her husband’s involvement in the scam, as Nyasa Times recently reported that Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had threatened an arrest on her and Lutepo’s daughter.
The top prosecutor warned Lutepo that he risks having his wife Gertrude and daughter Wongani arrested and charged for corruption as they are directors of his cashgate tainted companies International Procurement Services (IPS) and O and G construction.
And this week, Fiscal Police pounced on Lutepo’s wife and questioned her.
“It is true my wife together with other directors of some of my companies were invited and questioned by the Fiscal Police in Blantyre,” Lutepo confirmed.
Director of Public Prosecutions Kachale disclosed that the State is still investigating activities of Lutepo’s company.
Lutepo was arrested in November last year for money laundering after he allegedly pocketed $6 million from government coffers through ghost companies which did not provide any services to the state.
He is also charged with perjury after sending a letter to the Attorney General claiming he was threatened and told not to implicate Banda in the “Cashgate” allegations, the biggest financial scandal in the history of the small southern African country.
“Cashgate” erupted after an audit ordered by former president Banda found that about K20 billion in state funds had been looted by officials in less than six months last year.
The scandal led international donors to suspend aid to Malawi, where half of its 15 million people live below the poverty line.
Meanwhile, published reports indicate that the prosecution has amended and reduced to K785 million the amount which Malawi former Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara, Pika Manondo and businessperson Oswald Lutepo are answering on money laundering and obtaining money by false pretence.
According to Weekend Nation , the new charge sheet signed by the special public prosecutor on Cashgate, Kamudoni Nyasulu, the three have been charged with money laundering involving K785 million for Kasambara, Manondo and Lutepo and obtaining money by false pretences as count two,
In count one, Kasambara, Lutepo and Manondo have been charged with conspiracy to Section 35 (i) (d) of the Money Laundering Act.
Count four has Lutepo, Manondo then Kasambara and lawyer Wapona Kita trading as Ralph & Arnolds Associates charged with money laundering involving K55 million.
The amended charge for count three now reads: “Raphael Kasambara, Oswald Lutepo and Pika Manondo between 26 July and August 2013 at Standard Bank Ginnery Corner Branch in the city of Blantyre, acting in concert and furtherance of a common unlawful purpose, each or the others or all of them had in their possession proceeds of crime, namely seven hundred eighty five million one hundred and five thousand kwacha (K785 105 000.00) which they knew or had reason to believe represented in a whole or in part directly or indirectly money stolen or unlawfully obtained.”
New president Peter Mutharika has vowed to get to the “truth” of the crisis, which is said to have originated in 2005 when his late brother was the country’s leader.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :