Minister of Information and government spokesman Kondwani Nankhumwa has told a news conference in the capital Lilongwe that government had assembled 33 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Footage showing a series of meetings Former President Joyce Banda and cashgate suspect Osward Lutepo held at State Residences in Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu and Mangochi.
He said government had handed them over to Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for their examination and action.
“In some of the meetings, the CCTV Footages show one-on-one meetings between Lutepo and the former president, while other meetings include some senior member of the former ruling People’s Party and some former Cabinet Ministers,” Nankhumwa said.
The available F=footage and registers recorded between December 2012 and September 2013 are summerised as follows:
1. Mzuzu State Lodge – 1 meeting
2. Kamuzu Palace – 10 meetings
3. Sanjika Palace – 11 meetings
4. Chikoko Bay – 1
Total – 23 meetings
He also said government has also surrendered copies of gate entry registers and appointment bookings for Lutepo to see the former president.
“Much as we know that most Malawians would have loved the recordings to be paraded in public, government legal advisers and the prosecution team have strongly recommended that these items be left in the hands of ACB for further investigation and scrutiny so that they might later make an independent decision on whether the footage and registers can be used as evidence in court in the on-going cashgate cases,” he said.
Nankhumwa said government has “no intention to influence the on-going cashgate cases but would let the law enforcing agencies including the judiciary to do their job independently without fear or favour.”
Government spokesman stated: “The role of government is just to facilitate the process so that Malawians know who actually stole public money, a heartless tendency that has translated into misery and making Malawians destitute in their own land.”
Lutepo recently told Zodiak Broadcasting Station on Friday that Banda played conduit to the scandal and said the Baker Tilly forensic report which exonerated the former president was not thorough.
“I have been to State House several times to deliver money and some other audiences. If there CCTVs there will prove me,” Lutepo, a former deputy director of recruitment and sensitisation in Banda’s Peoples Party told the radio in an interview.
Banda shot down Lutepo claims and denies any wrong doing.
Lutepo accepted his wrongdoing in cashgate as part of his plea bargain and stressed he won’t go alone.
“I am ready to prove my claim. Come what may, I will stand to the truth,” said Lutepo, calling on government to start afresh the investigations into cashgate.
Lutepo faces theft and money laundering charges of K2.6 billion (about $6.8m) in the wake of the Capital Hill Cashgate scam which was widely exposed following the shooting of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo in September 2013.
But he was used as a State witness on the K1.2 billion thefts and money laundering case against fellow suspect Victor Sithole who was convicted and now serving nine years jail.
The Cashgate scandal saw some Malawi public servants – in collusion with various contractors – siphon millions of dollars from government coffers for goods and/or services not rendered.
As a result of the scandal, Malawi’s major donors suspended up to 40% of their aid to the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :