Judge postpones Malawi ‘Cashgate’ convict sentencing

The sentencing of  top tourism ministry official Treza Namathanga  Senzani who is the first convict in the so-called “Cashgate” scandal that led to the suspension of foreign aid  has been shifted to Monday, October 6.

Senzani pleaded guilty to stealing around $150,000 (63 million kwacha) from state coffers, part of a broader swindle worth at least $30 million and  was convicted  on her own guilty plea.

She was due to be sentenced on October 2 but it has been delayed .

Senzani's cashgate  sprawling mansion

Senzani’s cashgate sprawling mansion

Namathana Senzani:  First cashgate convict likely to escape prison sentence

Namathana Senzani: First cashgate convict likely to escape prison sentence

Trial Judge Ivy Kamanga said the sentencing had been put off for at least four days.

Her lawyer Necton Mhura  confirmed said t received communication that “sentencing has been postponed to Monday.”

Nyasa Times understands that her swift guilty plea has been a “ bargain” for non custodial sentence. She is likely going to get a suspended jail term.

“Malawians have not lost because my client paid back the MK 63.5 million stolen money in full. Of course there has been the consequence of withdrawal of donor aid and loss of donor aid but donor confidence won’t be regained by sending Cashgate convicts to jail. Sending her to jail will not bring back drugs in the hospitals.” Mhura, who is also law lecturer at University of Malawi,  told the court.

Human rights activist Billy Mayaya opined on social media on Mhura’s submission as “.jurisprudence and legal Rreasoning for the birds. And meanwhile on the other side, people continue to be convicted for stealing chickens.”

The state plans to use Senzani as a prosecution witness in other Cashgate cases.

An audit by British auditors, Baker Tilly, commissioned by former president Joyce Banda, revealed that 13 billion Malawi Kwacha (about US $30 million) had been systematically skimmed from the government payment system in a period of six months last year.

Businessmen and politicians connived with civil servants for payments of goods and services not rendered to government.

‘Cashgate’ unravelled following the shooting of former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo in September last year. Following Mphwiyo’s shooting huge sums of money in Malawi Kwacha, South African Rands and US dollars started showing up in unlikely places like car boots or under the pillow as the suspects were avoiding formal banking sector since the unexplained money could have raised eye-brows.

The scandal had prompted foreign donors — who provide around 40 percent of Malawi’s budget — to pull the plug on aid of around $150 million .

The Cashgate scheme is the biggest financial scandal in Malawi’s history.

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Peter Mathanyula Wakuba, formerly known as Obanda Joyce Ntilen
Guest
Peter Mathanyula Wakuba, formerly known as Obanda Joyce Ntilen

This is obscene bwanji. Look at that house! Ndalama zokubazo kutasa nazo choncho?

mopia
Guest

The defence lawyer’s argument is dangerous and counterproductive. This woman deserves life sentence because she is a murderer. How many people lost their lives because of her acts in hospitals. Surely common sense tells me that some part of the money she stole was meant to buy medicine for Malawi hospitals. At the time she stole our money, there were reports that people were dying in hispitals because of lack of medicine. Apite kundende. Nga macourt alephera our ancestral spirits will commit her to death sentence.

azeez
Guest

Imeneyi nyumba yamunthu wogwira ntchito m’boma? Koma ngati mumayankhula n’Chauta, ayi tiuzeni verse yake nafe tiyeseko!

Livulezi river
Guest

@ 48, Mwapheranjiru is right!!!! Eeeehh!!!! Imeneyi nyumba ya munthu wogwira ntchito kapena wa bizinezi? Even Mulli Brothers MD, Leston, nyumba ngati imeneyi alibe!! Fufuzani pena pali pose. Zonse walembazo inenso ndikugwirizana nawe! First step should be kumulanda Chuma chonsecho, then sending her to jail! But to be frank with you my fellow readers, I have doubts with the credibility of this Judge. I would be comfortable if it was Chifundo Kachale, Dustain Mwaungulu, Anaclet Chipeta and/or Edward Twea.

chatty man
Guest

have your say malawians

Mwapheranjiru
Guest
A Malawi, imeneyi nyumba ya munthu wogwira ntchito mu boma? Bvuto ku Malawi liripo chifukwa boma likulekerera anthu kumaba. Munthu wolandila K150 000 pa mwezi akupedzeka ndi ulemerero wa ma billions, koma boma kumangoyang;ana. Mai uyu afufudzidwe ulemerero wache wonse umene ali nawo moyenera ndi ndalama zimene amalandira pa mwezi. Zonse a boma landani, zonsezo ndizakuba. Palinso anthu ambiri mu boma ali ndi ma nyumba mu Lilongwe oposa iyi mwainjambulayi, koma boma lingowayang’ana. Mboni, mboni ya boma chani, samalirani. Mai uyu alandidwe manyumba onse amene wamanga. Komanso boma lifufudze kumene ena anapedza ndalama zomangira manyumba tate house ao. Ena amanama… Read more »
Mwendanato
Guest
EQUATE THIS OPULENT MANSION TO LIVES LOST, ROTTEN DEAD BODIES IN MORTUARIES, HER AFFLUENT LIFE STYLES, HER FROM RUGS TO RICHES STORY, HER CHILDREN EDUCATION FROM THE LOOT AND THE STATEMENT FROM HER LAWYER LECTURER. DO YOU GET A DIVIDING LINE IN REASONING CAPACITY. THE BEST JUDGE FOR SUCH CASES ARE DUNSTAN MWAUNGULU OR ANCLET CHIPETA WHOSE POCKETS HAVE NOT BEEN TAINTED OR WHOSE JUDICIAL BRAINS HAVE NOT BEEN CORRUPTED. I SAID IT THE OTHER TIME ON THIS VERY PAGE KUTI WE HAVE VERY FEW LECTURERS AT OUR UNIVERSITIES WHO HAVE HOLISTIC INTELLECT STILL INTACT IF WE WERE TO GO… Read more »
kams
Guest

Ngati munthu wa bweza musiyeni limbanani ndi enawo

Rich jossam
Guest

Have your time mr judge for people are watching.wishing you a 9c judgement

chidumayo
Guest

It’s very painful. Paying taxes for other people to enjoy. Look at her mansion and look at her salary. Its better you stop us paying taxes. Shiiitiii. bloodful zanu asokonombwe, achamumatowo, amununkhadala, mbozi, agalangánda, agulukunyina,

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