The High Court in Lilongwe has adjourned to May 18 2019 a K2.4 billion Cashgate case involving former budget director Paul Mphwiyo and 18 others.
The adjournment followed cross examination of Frank Mwangwaya, the chief accountant at the Accountant General and witness number 30 in the case.in which Mphwiyo and 18 others were charged with conspiracy to defraud government, holding property belonging to government, theft, money laundering, fraudulently issuing 24 cheques worth K2.4 billion, abuse of public office and usage of proceeds of crime.
Mwangwaya said the suspects fed the Information Financial Integrated Management Systems (Ifmis) software with wrong information so that it authorized bogus and dubious payments.
“The Ifmis does not work on its own. It relies on humans to feed it with information before any payment is authorized,” said Mwangwaya.
He said the suspects, who include former accountant general David Kandoje and a senior accountant Kazombo Mwale might have fed Ifmis with the wrong information in order to cash on the loot.
Witness number 31 is expected to take on the witness box in the court when the court resumes sitting.
Director of Public Prosecutions Mary Kachale is prosecuting the case while the trial judge is Esmie Chombo, who had to delay her retirement in order to conclude the case.
Mphwiyo’s shooting outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe in September 2013 led to revelations of the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill called Cashgate.
Former president Joyce Banda ordered a forensic audit which was undertaken by a British firm, RSM ( formerly Baker Tilly), covering the period between April and September 2013.
The audit established that about K24 billion was siphoned from the public coffers through dubious payments, inflated invoices of goods or services never rendered.
In May 2015, a financial analysis report by audit and business advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also established that about K577 billion in public funds could not be reconciled between 2009 and December 31 2014.
However, the K577 billion figure was later revised downwards to K236 billion by another British forensic auditor.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :