Businessperson Caroline Savala has a case to answer for theft and money laundering charges in relation to the cashgate scandal, High Court in Lilongwe ruled.
Savala is accused of siphoning about K84.9 million (US$206 068) of public money through alleged dubious contracts that never supplied anything to government.
She will have to defend herself in court against the charges. Savala is being represented by lawyers Ralph Kasambara and Wapona Kita, the former is also answering money laundering charges in the Cashgate trial.
Judge Fiona Mwale in her ruling on September 26 said the prosecution had submitted undisputed evidence in the case that Savala had, at different times in the bank account of her business Carmu Civil Engineering, two cheques amounting to K84 963 341.14 from the Ministry of Tourism when no construction contract was awarded to the accused.
“From all I have argued, the accused person has a case to answer on both counts, subject to the amendment of the second count.”
Judge Mwale ruled that cheques amounting to K35.1 million and K49.7 million deposited and cleared through Carmu Civil Engineering, “there’s no evidence that the accused submitted vouchers or demanded payments.”
Noted the judge: “All that has been established on the evidence is that she ended up with huge sums of money in her bank account for which there’s no contract on record.”
Prosecutors Kamudoni Nyasulu, Enock Chibwana and Dziko Malunda argued that Savala did not just claim the cheques for payment of work she did not do, she deposited the money in her business account to co-mingle with legitimately obtained funds.