Bail granted for Malawi ‘cash-gate’ key suspect, another remanded

Frank Mwanza, an Assistant Accountant in the Office of the President and Cabinet  arrested in connection to the Capital Hill ‘cash-gate’scandal after investigations revealed that he was responsible for a dubious payment of more than K1 billion to a bogus company has been released on bail.

Mwanza, 42, appeared before Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court on Tuesday for being suspected to have misappropriated public money amounting to K376, 910,600.

Anti-Corruption Beuarue (ACB) prosecutor Gavin Mpagaja told the court that Mwanza, who was arrested on October 4, 2013 is being charged with four offences.

Mpagaja said the charges area: “Misuse of public office which is contrary to section 25B (1), public officer performing functions corruptly contrary to section 25A, misuse of public office contrary to section 25B(1) and public officer performing functions corruptly contrary to section 25A(1) all under the corrupt practice act.”

Lloyd Banda: Remanded
Lloyd Banda: Remanded

The court also heard that on or about August 26, 2013 at Capital Hill in Lilongwe, Mwanza tampered with information about the three transactions in the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).

“Mwanza misused funds from voucher number 090PV2001750 amounting to K376, 910, 600.00,” Mpagaja told the court.

Mwanza applied for bail which Senior Resident Magistrate Ruth Chinangwa granted bail and imposed  conditions that he should give K150, 000.00 as his bail bond.

He will appear in court again on November 8, 2013.

In a related development. Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court  denied bail to Llyod Banda who has been charged with obstructing the prosecution of justice for attempting to conceal payment vouchers amounting to K89 million. (US$245 179)

His wife Martha Banda, an accountant at the Accountant General’s office, is a suspect in the ongoing fraud at Capital Hill and was arrested last week in connection with suspected theft of K96 million. (US$264 462).

The State, through police prosecutor Happy Mkandawire, asked the court that the spouse should remain in custody for an additional week to enable investigators complete their job without obstruction.

Chief resident magistrate Ruth Chinangwa agreed that seven days was not unduly excessive but asked the State to bring the matter back to court on Tuesday, October 16.

Banda, 40, was arrested alongside his house servant Robert Ngunga, 35, whom he instructed to take out of a house belonging to the couple vouchers kept in a travelling bag.

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