Businessperson Angela Katengeza, who was co-charged with a former assistant director of tourism at Ministry of Tourism, Leonard Kalonga in the K105.9 million ($146 444) money laundering case has been found guilty by High Court judge Fiona Mwale in Lilongwe.
The court found Katengeza guilty on the charge that she used her company’s bank account to launder K105 million that was proceeds of crime.
Kalonga was dropped from the case after he pleaded guilty to all cashgate related charges.
He told the court that he recruited Katengeza’s company, Faith Construction, among others, to share the proceeds of fraud in the cashgate scandal.
He said Faith Construction later recruited Mchemani Construction as per instructions from then Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo.
According to court statement by an investigator in the Fiscal Department of the Malawi Police Service, Katengeza alleges Kalonga used her to siphon K105.6 million from government.
Senior superintendent Gerald Chiwanda told the court that a caution statement he recorded from Katengeza indicated that Kalonga borrowed her certificate from the National Construction Industry Council which was normal according to her.
“After a month, he came with a cheque worth K32 million (about $76 190) which was deposited into my account. I withdrew the money and gave it to him. He came again with another cheque worth over K60 million (about $143 000), I deposited and withdrew and gave it to him.
”We agreed that I would get a commission after the third cheque, but to my surprise I heard that my name appeared at the Anti-Corruption Bureau as being involved in these cases,” said Katengeza in a caution statement.
Justice Fiona Mwale found Katengeza liable arguing that she should have known that the money which Leonard Kalonga gave her was tainted because she had no knowledge that he was in the construction industry.
Mwale said even if it was not obvious that the cheques amounting to K105 million drawn from the account of her company were not tainted, lending the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) certificate to Kalonga was illegal.
The judge said it was clear that Kalonga did not ask her first to keep the money but asked to use her NCIC certificate which meant that there was trust between the two.
“This court, on the basis of the prosecution proving beyond reasonable doubt finds the accused guilty of money laundering contrary to Section 13 of the Money Laundering, Proceeds of Serious Crime and Terrorist Financing Act. Bail is therefore revoked and the accused will be remanded in custody awaiting sentencing,” Mwale said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :