The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has denied knowing anything about the purported Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage which Minister of Information, Kondwani Nankhumwa said government has submitted to the graft-busting body showing former president Joyce Banda meetings with cashgate suspect Oswald Lutepo.
ACB deputy director Reyneck Matemba said on Thursday the bureau is not aware of the CCTV footage.
“We are not aware about that,” said Matemba.
“I have asked the director, those carrying out investigations and many others. They have all denied knowledge of the footage,” he added.
Nankhumwa told a news conference in Lilongwe on Thursday that government has send the CCTV footage showing meetings between the former president and Lutepo, copies of gate entry registers and appointment bookings for Lutepo to see the former president.
The former president through her personal assistant Andekuche Chanthunya has since described government’s action as ‘a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) game plan’ which will backfire.
Chanthunya accused government of bringing political vendetta in the cashgate cases instead of allowing a due process of the law take place.
He said the issue of CCTV footage has been taken to the media to influence a court of public opinion against Banda in a bid to “distract people from the economic challenges and strikes taking place in the country.”
Banda’s aide said “government is desperate to implicate the former president.”
He said former president used to meet many members of her People’s Party and would not be strange that Lutepo used to be amongst those leaders as he was an executive member and deputy director of sensitisation and recruitment.
According to Nankhumwa, the former president had one meeting with Lutepo at Mzuzu State Lodge, 10 at Kamuzu Palace, 11 at Sanjika Palace and one at Chikoko Bay.
Chanthunya accused government of applying “tricks” to influence the ongoing cash gate prosecutions.
PP spokesman Ken Msonda also said they have been aware that Lutepo “has been under intense pressure from the DPP administration to strike a deal which would implicate our leader Dr Joyce Banda.”
But government spokesman said they there is no intent to influence the prosecution.
“The footage will enable further investigations and scrutiny so that they might later make an independent decision on whether the footage and registers can be used as evidence in court in the on-going cash gate related prosecutions,” added Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa then reiterated that the role of government is just to facilitate the process so that Malawians know the wrong doers in the cashgate scandal.
Lutepo – who became a multimillionaire before joining the PP as evidenced by his acquisition of numerous multimillion kwacha investments including Naming’omba Tea Estate bought from Chris Barrow at a whooping MK 3bn which he had not finished paying for by April, 2012 – stressed that he is going to give a detailed account on how individuals and companies benefited from the massive looting.
“I want to level the playing field so that everyone involved should face justice,” he said.
Critics question Lutepo’s credibility as he once told the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court that he lied in his testimony under oath. He is also answering perjury charges.
Lutepo also wrote to the Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale withdrawing his first ‘statement’ claiming that he was forced by former Justice minister Fahad Asani, former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Bruno Kalemba and special prosecutor on Cashgate cases Kamudoni Nyasulu to write caution statements to implicate lawyers Ralph Kasambara and Wapona Kita.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :