Businessperson and chief cashgate suspect Osward Lutepo was on Thurdday hospitalised at Mzuzu MASM Hospital after he collapsed and is currently receiving treatment with hospital sources saying he may be found to be incompetent “at this moment” to stand trial.
Lutepo is regarded as chief suspect in cashgate cases and charged in a K5.7 billion (about $11.4m) theft and money laundering case alongside former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara, Pika Manondo and private-practice lawyer Wapona Kita, which is pending hearing in Lilongwe.
He is also is answering similar charges on an amount totalling K3.1 billion (about $6.2m)in the High Court’s Zomba registry.
Lutepo is facing another charge of conspiracy to commit murder charges alongside Kasambara, Manondo and Dauka Manondo in relation to the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo.
He was also slapped with another charge of perjury for admitting that he lied under oath in court.
His health scare started after his arrest on fresh charges of tax evasion.
Lutepo had a problem with his nervous system and has a paralysis of his legs. He has been on wheel chair.
He relation Edward Lutepo said the cashgate suspsect is “not fit and indeed not well.”
However, prosecutors said Lutepo will be “examined and re-examined” by doctors to check if he is fit stand trial.
Lutepo has accepted wrong doing in the plunder of public resources and apologised to the nation through the media, saying his companies were simply used as conduits.
He implicated former president Banda for benefitting part of his stolen money .Banda shot down the claims, saying they are “malicious” and calculated to drag her in the mud of cashgate as part of the political vendetta by the government.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale recently pointed out she will not trade confessors of Cashgate with non-custodial sentences
She said it was a mockery to the suffering Malawians have endured as a consequence of the accused persons’ role to plunder public money if her office was to accept defence proposal to trade confessions with non-custodial sentences.
Kachali said for this reason, there was no legal framework within which any plea bargaining arrangement can be made.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :