Former deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Nelson Bophani, who was also chairing the Investigation Committee on the “cashgate” scandal, a systematic looting of public money, has been earmarked for arrest , Nyasa Times understands.
Bophani is among suspects targeted for arrests who include top civil servant, politicians Brown Mpinganjira and Hophmally Makande.
Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) sources tipped Nyasa Times that the arrests will be bordering on charges of conspiracy to defeat the course of justice, money laundering and theft.
ACB deputy director Reyneck Matemba confirmed this week that the graft busting body was out to make more arrests.
Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu said more arrests are coming up and will involve high profile personalities suspected to have played a role in the plundering of public coffers at Capital Hill popularly referred to as cash-gate.
He said Cashgate was a “systematic intricate cobweb that was sanctioned by people in the authority.”
Tembenu said: “The evidence that we have uncovered is clear that the fraud was properly and meticulously planned, carefully coordinated and skilfully executed.”
Former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo who was arrested on Saturday for money laundering charges, is on record telling the High Court that former justice minister Ralph Kasambara ( already answering cashgate related charges) through Pika Manondo, Kasambara’s friend Patrick Gadama popularly known as ‘Gada’ and former spokesperson of the People’s Party (PP) Hophmally Makande are individuals who were pressurising him to approve payments to some companies, among them Glens Waterways and Deco/Terrastone which was claiming K9 billion.
He said the Secretary to the Treasury told him not to honour the payments as they were claimed in bad faith.
Mphwiyo told the court that Pika and Gada, sent by Kasambara, went to his house several times where he was told that if he did not make the payment, he would lose his life and they would make it look like a deal gone sour.
But a call from then minister of Information and Civic Education Brown Mpinganjira that he had been informed by Kasambara that he was refusing to approve the payments prompted him to go to Kasambara and tell him that he would not be intimidated.
Mphwiyo, whose shooting incident on September 13 last year at the entrance of his home at night opened a pandoras box that led to Cashgate, was being used as a State witness in the shooting incident and money laundering cases.
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, K13 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.
The updated Baker Tilly report name perpetrators but details have been passed to law-enforcement agencies.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :