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, 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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :