Assani confirms Lutepo implicates bigwigs in Malawi cashgate
Minister of Justice, Fahad Assani, has disclosed that cashgate suspect Oswald Lutepo has implicated a lot of prominent personalities and companies that were involved in the Capital Hill looting saga christened as ‘cashgate’.
The businessperson is accused of stealing K2.6 billion of public money stemming from payment he allegedly received, despite his company International Procurement Services not providing any service to government.
Nyasa Times citing police sources reported last week that Lutepo, who was arrested in November 2013 and accused of K2.6 billon theft , has implicated a number of ruling People’s Party (PP) and government officials for their hand in the cashgate.
Lutepo reportedly told the police that a former principal secretary (PS) in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Joster Njanji got part of the money and shared with, among others, another PS and ruling party big wigs.
Speaking on Zodiak radio’s Tiuzeni Zoona programme aired on Sunday, the Justice Minister attached weight to the Nyasa Times report by also indicating that Lutepo has revealed names of many people who risk arrests.
“We’ve the names of the people and institutions and we’ll tender all that in court,” said Assani.
But Assani said the Lutepo case will fall in the second round of the cash-gate cases beginning Tuesday [29th January, 2013] so that they don’t tamper with investigations.
“Lutepo implicated so many people who were using his company accounts [in siphoning public money],” said Assani.
He however said the cashgate trial will be done “step by step” and indicated that there will more arrests including of the prominent people implicated.
Assani could not name some of the people implicated but hinted they were “big fishes”.
Lutepo, who is currently on bail on money laundering and theft charges, has since urged the public to “wait for the justice system to take its course.”
He has refused to disclose who he has implicated, saying they will be known in court.
“My statement remains a private matter until it goes to court. I am not here to say who I implicated or who I saved,” The Nation newspaper quoted him as saying.
With presidential elections in May next year, the cashgate scandal has become a hot political issue.
President Banda, one of the two female presidents in Africa, says the fight against graft comes before her political career.
“If I do not win the elections because I was fighting corruption, I am very comfortable with that,” she said.
Cashgate cuts deeply both economically and politically which caused many foreign donors to halt aid.
In a country where 40 percent of the budget comes from abroad, politicians and economists are still struggling to gauge the fallout.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :