The High Court in Lilongwe has ruled that Cornelius Kaphamtengo and 11 other civil servant ss have a case to answer in the first ever cashgate case of 2010 involving K201 million and that trial should start on August 1, 2011 .
The judge found Kaphamtengo and 11 others, including his wife, with a case to answer in all the three counts of conspiracy to defraud the government, theft and money laundering.
Kamphamtengo and his accomplices are being accused of stealing and sharing among themselves K201 million ($358 929) in 2011 from the then Ministry of Elderly and Disability Affairs through the Accountant General’s Office.court
Presiding judge Mkandawire said there was evidence that Kaphamtengo, his wife and others conspired, stole and laundered money which made the government lose more than K200 million between 2010 and 2011 using five cheques from the ministry of Disability, the Elderly and Children Affairs.
Mkandawire said Kaphamtengo and his wife were used as a front for their company Nova Technologies and General Trading which the suspects used to deposit the cheques which they swiftly withdrew and disbursed to the other suspects.
“Nova Technologies and General Trading did not deliver any goods or services to the ministry (of ministry of Disability, the Elderly and Children Affairs) to warrant payment of five cheques,” said Mkandawire.
He said Conrad Nambala, another suspect in the case was behind the whole scheme of the alleged looting of government money, saying this was why when cheques were cleared, they were immediately shared to the other suspects and Nambala got the lions share.
“They even bought a vehicle for Conrad Nambala from Automotive Products. The vehicle was tendered in court as evidence,” said Mkandawire.
He said the evidence clearly showed that Nambala gave the shots on how the money should be distributed and sometimes he brought the cheques to the banks himself.
“The court cannot go into speculation as to the criteria used as to who would get what but the financial intelligence behavior gives some hint. Why did the first and second accused (Kaphamtenga and his wife) became very generous to give the money to others whilst they were left with very little money?” asked Mkandawire.
Donning a red gown and white wig, Mkandawire said all but two suspects were working in the accounts departments of the ministry or the Accountant General’s office whilst one worked for the ministry of Transport and Public Works and another one was a telephone operator at the ministry.
One of the suspects, Emmanue Yesaya was a member of the core team of integrated financial management systems (Ifms) but took advantage that the ministry was not yet connected to the ifms.
The judge said the suspects took advantage that they were in the accounts department therefore they could find vouchers, prepare them, write cheques and facilitated the payments.
“They operated like an orchestra. The accused persons were working in concert. That is why they were not surprised where the money was coming from. These were huge sums of money which one would ask where the money was coming from,” said Mkandawire.
He then found them with a case to answer in all the three counts and hearing of the case is expected to start on August 1 up to August 3, 2017.
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) prosecutor Reyneck Matemba said alleged looting of public funds took place between November 1 2010 and June 30 2011 and centred around Ministry of Elderly and Disability Affairs through the Accountant General’s office.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :