State prosecutor in the ongoing Malawi’s Cashgate cases have disclosed that they have evidence which shows that businessperson Osward Lutepo and the country’s former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara were working together to steal and launder money from government coffers.
The money connected to the two and other suspects amount to almost K5 billion of public funds.
The prosecution team has since told the court that they will first deal with a case in which Lutepo is being tried separately in another case involving K2.6 billion currently before the High Court in Zomba before hearing the K5 Billion case.
Kasambara, now in private practice and his professional colleague, Wapona Kita, are also co-accused persons in conspiracy, possession of property suspected to have been stolen amounting to K55 million and money laundering whereas Pika Manondo and Kasambara are separately charged with possession of stolen property comprising 11 vehicles, K22 million in Manondo’s custody and K5 billion in both their custody.
Special state prosecutor of Cashgate cases Kamudoni Nyasulu, who the court has given a go-ahead to prosecute despite an earlier objection from the defence, said in his statement of prosecution that they would parade 11 witnesses and tender 39 documents as evidence.
Among the tendered documents will be 11 government cheques which he said would link the suspects in the case of theft.
Nyasulu said evidence would show that money stolen from government was deposited into Lutepo’s bank account which would then be withdrawn by Lutepo and given to Manondo.
“Then Pika Manondo would take the money to Ralph Kasambara and other people. And we have evidence that some of the money from the fraudulent payments were also deposited into the accounts of Ralph and Arnolds Associates; thus, the accounts of Mr. Lutepo and Ralph and Arnolds were used to launder money defrauded from government,” said Nyasulu.
Nyasulu told the court that since the element of money laundering in the case was linked to the Lutepo theft case currently before the court in Zomba, the prosecution was seeking direction on whether the case would be tried in Zomba or be transferred to Lilongwe.
High Court judge Chifundo Kachale has since said the accused persons failed to substantiate allegations of Nyasulu’s ineligibility and incompetence to prosecute the case as alleged by Kasambara and Kita.
Kachale also struck off Ralph and Arnolds as co-accused persons on the case and asked prosecution to amend the charge sheet so that proprietors are charged instead.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :