Lilongwe Magistrate Court has been asked not to jail Malawi Congress Party (MCP) deputy director of youth Wyson Zinyemba Soko who was found guilty of theft and money laundering for his involvement in the ongoing financial scandal dubbed “Cashgate” that saw millions of dollars looted from the impoverished country’s government.
Soko’s fate lies in the hands of Senior Resident Magistrate Patrick, who will announce his decision after the mitigation submission from defence and prosecution.
His lawyer Henry Kadzakumanja made the mitigation submission on Friday and pleaded for non-custodial sentence.
In an event that the court jails Soko, he asked for to be lenient to his client.
But state prosecutor hired for cashgate cases, Kamudoni Nyasulu said non- sentence would be “shockingly inappropriate” and could cause Malawians to lose faith in their legal system.
He said the court need to “send a message to the public” through stiffer sentence.
Soko was found guilty and convicted after was paid K40.9 million ($90 000) through his company Watipaso General Dealers from the Ministry of Tourism vote when the company had no contract with government, as testified by various government officials during trial.
“The accused participated actively in defrauding government,” noted Chirwa.
Chirwa also trashed Soko’s assertions during his testimony that a Godfrey Banda used his company and the money belonged to Banda because he gave “illogical and emotional” answers when cross-examined on the particulars of the Banda.
“I found the statements very strange and entirely unbelievable,” Chirwa said.
Soko becomes the third person to be convicted in many Cashgate cases currently before the courts.
Earlier this year a secretary in Malawi’s tourism department Teresa Namathanga Senzani was sentenced to three years in jail. And on Tuesday Lilongwe Magistrate Court sentenced Victor Sithole, 28 to nine years imprisonment with hard labour.
He was an account assistant in the Malawian government in 2013 when he was found with about $66 000 in cash in American, South African and Malawian currency.
The court will hand its sentence on November 13.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :