Former Malawi Police Deputy Inspector General Nelson Bophani Standard bank account which had his pension money has been frozen by t he Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
Bophani was also chairing the Investigation Committee, a multi-agency special unit that initiated the probe on the “cashgate” scandal, a systematic looting of public money.
ACB arrested him last month on ‘cashgate’-related charges.
As soon as he was arrested, government through Head of Human Resources Sam Madula posted him to the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) and later to Escom as security advisor before he was forced to retire.
His gratuity was immediately processed and wired into his bank account only to freezr it before he could access the pension.
ACB Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala said she needed to cross check with the operations department before commenting.
A senior official at the graft busting body but asked for anonymity confirmed of the freezing of the account.
“What happened last week is part of our investigations. Whenever we are investigating people who are connected to cases, we freeze their assets fearing for the disposal and movement of the same,” said the source.
Bophani was arrested on October 23 and charged with misusing of public office contrary to section 25 (b) (1) of the Corrupt Practice Act and Conspiracy to defeat justice contrary to section 109 (a) of the penal code.
Over 70 civil servants and businessmen are currently in court answering ‘cashgate’ charges ranging from theft, theft by public officers to possession of property suspected of having been stolen, fraud and money laundering.
Former Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Theresa Senzani was first to be convicted in ‘cashgate’-related charges. She is now serving a three-year jail term.
On Tuesday an Accounts Assistant in the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Natural Resources, Victor Sithole, was also jailed nine years in the ‘cashgate’-related charges.
An independent report into the scandal by Baker Tilly, a British accountancy firm, describes the scale of the theft and how it operated.
Drawing on a sample of 501 suspicious transactions between April and September, the auditors found that around 6.1 billion kwacha ($14.5m) had been paid out to 16 companies for services that had not been supplied.
Payments with no further documents accounted for a further 4 billion kwacha. The bean-counters also found that supply contracts had been inflated by 3.6 billion kwacha.
All told, about K20 billion went missing during the Joyce Banda reign from April 2012. Probably another K90 billion went missing over the eight years of the presidency of the late Bingu wa Mutharika.
In total, about 30 per cent of the country’s budget could have been looted over a decade – almost as much as donors have provided Malawi over the same period.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :