Former Malawi army commander Odillo back in court for Cashgate involving arms supplier Thuso Group

Former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) general Henry Odillo is back in the High Court in Lilongwe to answer charges of theft of public money.

Odillo: Not part of the committee that awarded contracts to suppliers like Thuso Group

Odillo, 56, is facing charges alongside former deputy commander Clement Kafuwa, 66, former Accountant General David Kandoje and Ganizani Kuchombo, 42.

The four are accused of sanctioning payments to Thuso Group, a South Africa-based business group which prosecutors say was a fake military equipment supplier and, allegedly, invoiced and received pay from MDF amounting to K920 000 000 and ZAR30 000 000 (K1.5 billion) for supply of ammunition which they did not deliver.

Apart from the accusation of lacking a legitimate contract with Malawi Government and not supplying the ammunition, the Thuso Group deal is also said to have been overpriced.

The case is part of the infamous Cashgate—the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill exposed through the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013—where about K24 billion was stolen during a randomly chosen six months period auditors covered between April and September 2013 during the Joyce Banda administration.

The graft-busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Tuesday finished parading witnesses in the case.

Last witness was Chief Investigations Officer at the ACB, Florence Banda.

She provided her findings on the matter from the Reserve Bank of Malawi, Auditor General and other public agencies.

The matter, which has dragged for five years, is before High court judge Redson Kapindu.

Gift Nakhuni, one of the lawyers in the case for former Odillo and others have since asked the court for time to review documents tendered in court as evidence by Banda.

Nankhuni told the court that they will be ready with assessed evidence from the documents this morning.

A special Cashgate prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu said there were other two volumes of documents of evidence that will also be tendered in court to detail how the proceeds of the crime were shared.

During the trial, the defence  pushed to portray that other MDF officers were more responsible for getting quotations of the contract, including David Mtachi, then a defence attaché in the Malawi Embassy in South Africa who allegedly, solicited the quotations from several suppliers and also cited involvement of other organs such as Treasury in scrutinising the contract as evidence that Odillo did not personally push for the contract for his benefit.

Former Auditor General Stephenson Kamphasa testified  that there is no evidence from the Baker Tilly [Now RSM] audit report implicating Odillo.

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Mikuyu Awaits
Mikuyu Awaits
4 months ago

be under no mistake, Madame JB will use her position in Tonse to ensure Odilo gets away with the crime.

Patriotic Nyasaman
Patriotic Nyasaman
4 months ago

General I once met you at Ku Chawe Inn where you were having breakfast with the Chief Secretary OPC . It was at time of Atulepe’s wedding. My impression of you was that you are an honourable patriot who was serving out country loyally.
My advise to you General is to spill the beans, tell the court who directed you to enter these corrupt deals. Why should you suffer. If your Commander in Chief directed you than you simply followed the directives. So tell the Court and you will be a hero.

Malawi Timkonde
Malawi Timkonde
4 months ago

Kodi Odilo ndiuja anathandiza kuti tikhale ndi Joyce presiding over an administration ya cashgate eti (after kuonesetsa kuti constitution igwire ntchito Bingu atafa)? Pokhapaja constitution siyinatikonde, ikanangotilora kuti pakhale dongosolo lina osati JB nanga taonani lero JB ali m’boma kudya mapwevupwevu koma Odilo, mnzake wa cashgate, ali m’khothi kuwuma malovu munthu wamkulu lilime kusowa mtengo wogwira; anyway, akakalowa I volunteer kumakamupatsira nsima every Monday, subject to confirmation kuti amadya mbewa zotendera

Aziz
Aziz
4 months ago

One of the best ever MDF bosses

Wanangwa
Wanangwa
4 months ago
Reply to  Aziz

Most corrupt as well and useless.Hebputbthe army in a compromised position.

Chinyama
Chinyama
4 months ago
Reply to  Aziz

I agree a professional soldier, smart and well disciplined but instructed by his Commander in Chief to enter into corrupt deals. Let the General tell the nation the truth, expose the then Commander in Chief.

Keen Observer
Keen Observer
4 months ago

Musiyeni General uyu.

Banda
Banda
4 months ago

After 5 years the Government is only releasing disclosure of evidence they have obtained once a trial has commenced. Very poor Law Society that has Not had the laws changed that Disclosure of Documents are to furnished to the Defense prior and in good time before trial. This clearly is an ambush of the Proscutor. One would suggest it is Sharp Practice in attempt to ambush the Defense in a miscarriage of Justice.

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