The High Court in Lilongwe has dismissed governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey K70 billionth claim for compensation from government.
Jeffrey filed the claim following her acquittal in the K187 million Ministry of Education scam during the Bakili Muluzi administration between 1994 and 2004.
The outspoken DPP secretary general and about 50 others were implicated in the scandal exposed through an audit report of March 2000.
Jeffrey, Brian Kachingwe, Agnes Kaphikire (widow of late Phillip Kaphikire) and Tadala Chakhaza (son to late Brighton Chakhaza) were acquitted after the ACB failed to take the matter to court on charges of corrupt practices with a public officer, obtaining money by false pretence, corrupt use of official powers, forgery and making a false warrant of money.
The report alleged that Jeffrey’s business connived with some officers from the divisional education office in Kasungu to defraud millions of public funds.
However, the court later acquitted Jeffrey and together with three others she took government to court following the actions and decisions made by the ACB and the National Audit Office (NAO).
Matemba has vowed that the ACB would challenge any attempt to appeal by the claimants.
Safuli was sentenced to two years imprisonment for aiding and abetting theft of K100 000. He was convicted together with managing director of Tapempha Building Contractors, Esther Kathumba, who got four and two years imprisonment for theft of K596 802 and attempted theft of K1 999 920, respectively, from the ministry.
Esther’s husband, Henry Kathumba, who was managing Khristu Nafe Building Contractors, was given a two-year jail term for theft of K100 000 which he collected from the ministry.
Snowden Joya, a quantity surveyor in the ministry, was sentenced to three years imprisonment for forging six certificates for completion of work for projects that were never finished.
But eight months after the convictions, the Supreme Court of Appeal set aside Safuli and Jiya’s convictions and quashed their sentences.
The court also quashed theft charges against the Kathumbas and substituted them with theft by false pretence.