Kettie Kamwangala, one of the four businesswomen suspected of being involved in the Capital Hill ‘cashgate’, will return in the dock on Wednesday when the High Court in Lilongwe will start hearing her defence on two charges of theft and money laundering.
Kamwangala was arrested on November 5 2013 and charged with money laundering and theft of K28 million from government between July and September this year. She pleaded not guilty.
But High Court judge Fiona Mwale recently found Kamwangala with a case to answer.
The court observed that the second prosecution witness, Kenson Mbwana who was the Director of Administration and Finance in the Ministry of Tourism at the relevant time identified the ‘Cashgate’ cheque in question as one that has indeed been drawn from his Ministry from the Development Vote (360).
The cheque was paid to Exploration Company which according to witness Catherine Sukali, an employee of the company which belonged to the accused.
Mbwana maintained in cross-examination that the cheque was paid unlawfully because he never authorised it. He further testified that there was never any communication between his Ministry and Explorations Company and so there was no reason for his Ministry to have paid the company.
If the Accountant General had issued the cheque without his Ministry knowing, then the process was wrong. The process for payment ought to have been preceded by the need for a particular service. According to him, however, Explorations Company was never on the list for those authorized to provide services.
The judge said prosecution witnesses raises a number of questions as to how or on what basis the accused sent her employee to go and collect a bank cheque that was not issued following the normal channels.
Having found the accused with a case to answer, the judge ordered that she should enter on defence
Kamwangala’s house in Area 47 in Lilongwe and her plot in Area 6 was surrendered to the State and secured as part of bail conditions.